(Lorenzo Soria, HFPA) With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looming on the horizon no big movies came out this weekend and Moana ruled the domestic box-office for the third weekend in a row. Disney Animation’s CGI Juggernaut added another $18.8 million to reach a domestic total of $145 million. It is tracking 4% ahead of Frozen, the studio’s biggest at the same point in its release.
It’s unlikely that Moana will match its $400.7 million domestic run, but the studio won’t be worried at all as they have already set a record for the highest grossing year for any studio ever. Analysts are predicting a global launch for Star Wars as high as $350 million, which will raise the bar even higher. In foreign territories Moana made $23.5 million and brought its overseas total to $23.8 million. It has reached $26 million in China and $9 million in Russia, while notching $6 million in the UK and $5.4 million in Spain.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, another family friendly movie that refuses to leave the top of the charts, owned the international box office once again. Beasts made $33.1 million in 67 territories and reached $480.7 million in foreign theatre receipts. Unlike Moana, Beasts is soaring in China. Universal’s Harry Potter addendum arrived at an $82.4 million total in the Middle Kingdom. The finale of the 8 part series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, made $61 million there, back when the Chinese box office was worth less than a quarter of its current value. Universal is even building a Harry Potter World theme park near Shanghai that is slated to open its doors in 2017 and will entertain and foster the current and next generation of HPfans.
In the U.S., Fantastic Beasts slid into slid into third with a $10.8 million dollar frame. Its domestic cume is currently $199.3 million, putting it on course to cross the $200 million mark by Monday evening. Its $680 million cume is still the lowest of the HP franchise, but a spinoff reaching those figures proves beyond a doubt that fanfare for J.K. Rowling’s literary and filmed empire hasn’t come close to fading out.
Taking the number two domestic spot from Beasts was Paramount’s raunchy holiday comedy Office Christmas Party that launched to $17.5 million at home. This film from directing duo Will Speck and Josh Gordon tells the story of a biotech firm manager (T.J. Miller) who throws a wild Christmas party to convince an investor that his company cares about its employees and attract enough capital to save 40% of his companies jobs. Hi-jinks ensue and the likes of Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Sam Richardson and Jenifer Aniston become involved with escapades like a snow blower being filled with cocaine, an accounting executive bringing in hookers to impress his coworkers, and lots of intra-office romance. Its overseas cume is $16.4 million and the global figure is $34 million, coming off of a $45 million budget.
Awards hopefuls and specialty circuit pictures picked up steam ahead of today’s Golden Globes Nominations and the beginning of major awards season. Allied made $4 million, Nocturnal Animals made $3.19 million, Manchester by the Sea added $3.16 million and Hacksaw Ridge made $2.3 million. Each of these finished in the top 10.
Next weekend will no doubt be dominated by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Will Smith starrer Collateral Beauty is launching as alternative programming, Pablo Larraín, who is going all out with biopics this year, will hope his Neruda starring Gael García Bernal as the venerated Chilean poet can snag a share of more mature viewer’s attention this weekend.