The 2016 box office has been strong all year, crossing $10 billion in record time. With only one month remaining before the new year, the question becomes whether 2016 can match 2015's record $11.12 billion haul, and with a slew of strong releases in November and more coming in the next few weeks, the odds are looking good for 2016 to set a new high-water mark at the box office. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Disney released its second-to-last tentpole of the year with the animated hit, Moana, which ruled the holiday with over $80 million.
The first weekend in December is traditionally a slow one at the box office, with studios often opting to avoid opening their films right after Thanksgiving. Still, with several strong holdovers in just their first few weeks of release, film fanatics have plenty of options at the cinemas. Prior to the weekend, Moana was projected to have a strong showing in its second week, while Warner Bros. Harry Potter prequel/spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was expected to do good business in just its third weekend. The numbers are in and things fell into place as expected during the traditionally soft weekend.
THR is reporting that Walt Disney Animated Studios' Moana dropped just 49% in its second weekend, notching an estimated $28.4 million to lead all films at the box office. The Eddie Redmayne-starring Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned second place at the box office with a reported $18.5 million in its third frame. The weekend's only new wide release was the Aaron Eckhart-starring Incarnate, which earned a modest $2.6 million.
Moana's $28.4 million over its second weekend lifts the film's domestic box office total to just under $120 million. The film, which is being compared to another Disney Thanksgiving release, Frozen, is currently outpacing the latter at the box office. Of course, Frozen turned out to have extremely long legs in theaters, grossing over $400 million domestically and $1 billion worldwide before all was said and done. It seems unlikely that Moana will do quite as much business.
Thanks to the additional $18.5 million from its third weekend, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has now grossed $183 million domestically and seems to be justifying the ambitious five-film series Warner Bros. and writer J.K. Rowling have planned. Two other films that held strong this weekend were the critically acclaimed science fiction film, Arrival, and Marvel's Doctor Strange.
Arrival dropped just 36% in its fourth weekend to $7.3 million, lifting the Amy Adams-starring film to just over $73 million at the domestic box office, surpassing $100 million worldwide. In its fifth weekend of release, Doctor Strange eased just 52% to $6.5 million, good for fifth place. The Marvel hit has now grossed over $215 million domestically, good for ninth place out of all films in the MCU, even surpassing Iron Man as the highest grossing solo hero debut globally.
Next weekend will likely be a relatively tame one at the box office, as moviegoers save up for the biggest release of December, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters in less than two weeks.