Weekend Wrap-Up

Turkey Weekend Turns Moana, Fantastic Beasts into Winners

By John Hamann

November 27, 2016

A well-deserved high five.

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Asking Moana to find the same legs as Frozen did is just about impossible. The 2013 Disney release turned a second place Thanksgiving finish into a domestic gross of $400 million and a worldwide gross of $1.28 billion. Toy Story 2 turned a three-day total of $57.4 million into a domestic gross of $245 million, and I think the result for Moana will be similar. It has the animated market sewed up until Universal’s Sing comes on to the market on December 21st, but Moana will also have to deal with Star Wars: Rogue One the weekend prior. Disney did not release budget data for Moana, but one has to assume a budget of at least $150 million for this one.

The budget for Moana could be $250 million, and it wouldn’t matter to Disney, given the year they are having. Disney has had two domestic results beyond $400 million (Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War), two $300 million plus domestic earners (The Jungle Book, Zootopia), and what is likely a $240 million earner in Doctor Strange. Yes, Disney has also had disappointments this year (Alice 2,The BFG, Pete’s Dragon), but the worldwide grosses are staggering. Finding Dory, Captain America and Zootopia all earned $1 billion worldwide, and The Jungle Book came up just short of that mark. Doctor Strange should see $700 million, and where Moana and Rogue One end up on a worldwide basis is anyone’s guess.


Finishing strong in second is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which has had an excellent 10 days since opening. On its second Friday, Fantastic Beasts earned $18.6 million, off 38% from its $29.7 million opening day. Over the three-day portion of the weekend, the film from screenwriter JK Rowling pulled in $45.1 million, off 39%, but over five days, Fantastic Beasts earned $65.8 million. The weekend result pulls the domestic total for the Warner Bros. release up to $156.2 million, a number that joins the $318 million earned overseas. The $180 million release is moving in the right direction compared to its gross, but still has a long way to go to find a profit. However, Warner Bros. has done what it needed to do to launch another successful franchise.

Third is Doctor Strange, another Disney title. After earning $17.8 million last weekend, the Marvel release was looking to meet or beat that over five days. On Friday, Doctor Strange earned $5.4 million, up a large 13% compared to the previous Friday. Friday is the biggest day of the five-day Thanksgiving stretch, so that kind of hold would not remain over the remainder of the weekend. Over three days, Doctor Strange earned $13.4 million, a drop of 25% compared to last weekend. Over five days, Doctor Strange earned $18.9 million and brings its domestic tally up to $205.1 million. The Marvel product crossed the $200 million mark on Sunday, its 23rd day, the same amount of time it took X-Men: Days of Future Past to reach the same mark. Overseas, the total has risen to $410 million, putting another comic book property into the heavily profitable category.

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