End of the last weekend and the immediate beginning of a new one as the Thanksgiving stretch officially starts.
Disney’s new princess Moana might rain on Fantastic Beasts’ parade, opens on Wednesday, winning the five-day away from warner Bros.’ Harry potter spinoff with a take that’s in the $75M-$80M range, though Disney would be content if she catches a wave that’s north of $70M at 3,800 locations, 80% in 3D.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Moana follows a Pacific Island teenager who, in an effort to turn the bad fortune her Oceania Island is weathering, seeks demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to right the ancient wrongs he has done and put the angry ocean spirit at peace.
The other best thing that added interest in the movie is that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the multi-Tony-Winning creator of Hamilton, penned a number of songs.
High rating movie
The biggest competition for “Moana” will be the second week of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them,” the Harry Potter spinoff that debuted last weekend to a hefty $75 million. It could do nearly as much business over the holiday, but will attract a slightly older crowd given its PG-13 rating. Most box office watchers expect the fantasy film to pull in between $50 million to $60 million for the holiday stretch.
Other wide releases opening on Thanksgiving eve are Paramount’s World War II romantic drama “Allied,” starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard; Fox drama “Rules Don’t Apply,” written and directed by Warren Beatty, who also stars as Howard Hughes; and Billy Bob Thornton in the comedy sequel “Bad Santa 2,” out of Broad Green Pictures and Miramax.
Other than “Moana,” none of the above titles will stack up to Warner Bros. holdover hit “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which should grab the No. 2 spot with an impressive $60 million over the five-day holiday.