Disney's 'Moana' Tops Thanksgiving Holiday Box Office

Walt Disney's (DIS) "Moana" animated film finished in first place in its debut weekend and had the second best five-day Thanksgiving opening of all time after "Frozen" in 2013.

The film, which stars the voices of actor Dwayne Johnson and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho, took in $81.1 million over its five-day opening. The figure was lower than the $93.6 million five-day total of Disney's "Frozen" three years ago and just ahead of "Toy Story 2", which brought in $80.1 million in 1999.

In its debut weekend, Moana generated estimated revenue of $55.5 million, which was below MKM Partners' outlook of $64.0 million.

Last weekend's winner "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" fell to second place this weekend and brought in $45.1 million, a decline of about 39% week-over-week. But the total was higher than MKM's estimate of $41 million. The Warner Bros. "Harry Potter" spin-off delivered an "excellent" three-day total and a $65.76 million five-day performance, according to Benchmark.

"Doctor Strange" finished in third place grossing $13.4 million in its fourth weekend of release, while "Allied" and "Arrival" raked in revenue of $13.0 million and $11.3 million, respectively.

Revenue from the weekend's top 10 films totaled $171 million, which represented growth of 2% year-over-year, according to MKM.

Total box office revenue over the weekend was an estimated $183 million, essentially flat compared to the prior year gross weekend, Benchmark noted.

Box office revenue is up 6.5% quarter-to-date through November 27. For the fourth quarter, MKM continues to see a 5.5% decline for the domestic box office.

Additionally, "Moana" strength seems to be benefitting Disney's hundreds of retail stores.

"The impressive box office results of the newly released "Moana" are driving interest for this property at Disney stores--we're seeing a strong lift across most categories, especially our Singing Moana doll and Pua pig plush which are flying off the shelves," Elissa Margolis, senior VP of Disney Store North America told TheStreet's Brian Sozzi over the weekend.

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