You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

“Moana” impresses with Thanksgiving box office second to only “Frozen”

LOS ANGELES — Disney’s “Moana” sailed to No.1 at the box office over the long holiday weekend, with estimated ticket sales of $81.1 million — more than enough to bump last week’s chart-topper, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” to second place.

Even more encouraging for Disney, though, might be that “Moana,” an animated musical about a Polynesian princess on a mission to save her island, now holds the record for the second-biggest five-day Thanksgiving opening.

Its haul from Wednesday to Sunday beat that of Pixar’s “Toy Story 2,” which raked in $80.1 million in 1999. Early box-office returns for “Moana” came close to matching figures for 2013’s “Frozen,” which leads the five-day Thanksgiving list. But in the end, Disney’s summery adventure fell short of the wintry crown holder’s unsurpassed $93.5 million opening.

In fact, with the addition of “Moana” (and Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Pixar), nine of the 10 movies with the biggest Thanksgiving openings are Disney titles, according to Box Office Mojo, including “Tangled,” “The Good Dinosaur” and “Enchanted.”

“Moana,” with Dwayne Johnson as a tattooed demi-god who accompanies a princess (voiced by 16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho) on her journey, was helped to No.1 by rave reviews and an A grade from the audience-polling firm CinemaScore.

The animated film also benefited from widespread buzz about its songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

Early Sunday, the “Moana” soundtrack sat at No. 3 on iTunes’ album chart, ahead of titles by Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Miranda Lambert.

Another family-oriented picture, Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” took in an estimated $65.7 million from Wednesday to Sunday.

The spinoff from the blockbuster “Harry Potter” franchise — it’s the first of five planned “Fantastic Beasts” titles — opened Nov. 18 and has taken in $156 million.

The more grown-up “Allied” — Paramount’s World War II drama directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt — brought in $18 million over the five-day weekend to debut at No. 4, behind Marvel’s returning “Doctor Strange,” which made $18.9 million.

Two other new movies failed to meet expectations.

Broad Green Pictures’ “Bad Santa 2,” with Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, opened to $9 million — considerably less than the $16 million analysts had predicted, and shy of the $16.8 million the first “Bad Santa” opened with in 2003.

And Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply,” hampered by mixed reviews, disappointed with $2.1 million over five days in theaters.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Movies & TV

Matthew McConaughey looked to the Big 12 for his hair in ‘Gold’
Matthew McConaughey looked to the Big 12 for his hair in ‘Gold’

Bryce Dallas Howard and Matthew McConaughey in “Gold.” Contributed Sure, Matthew McConaughey reportedly put on more than 40 pounds to get into character as Kenny Wells, the somewhat sketchy fellow at the heart of “Gold.
Where to eat oysters in Austin
Where to eat oysters in Austin

The weather’s prime for oyster eating. Whether you like sweet ones,briny ones, or the fat ones with whispers of iodine straight from the Gulf of Mexico, Austin has dozens of choices for oysters.
Super Bowl brings a restaurant boom to downtown Houston
Super Bowl brings a restaurant boom to downtown Houston

Flights are starting to fill up for the Super Bowl in Houston on Feb. 5, but if you want to make a wild day trip of it from Austin, you need to know that there are about a million new food places opening just in time for the biggest sporting event of the year.
Where to eat on Valentine’s Day in Austin
Where to eat on Valentine’s Day in Austin

Uchi and Uchiko will serve special omakase menus for couples on Valentine’s Day. (Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN) The favorite holiday of hopeless romantics, greeting card companies, florists and restaurant owners is approaching.
Throughout February, Zilker Brewing is raising money for Mothers’ Milk Bank
Throughout February, Zilker Brewing is raising money for Mothers’ Milk Bank

Mothers’ Milk Bank is an awesome organization, if only because it’s one of the most prominent local organizations to make breast milk cool. (You know what’s not cool? Sexualizing breast milk or treating it like a joke. Don’t even get me started on the right to breastfeed in public…) There’s the La Leche League of...
More Stories