‘Moana’ cruises with $81.1M Thanksgiving weekend

Falling to second was J.K. Rowling's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Box Office
This image released by Disney shows characters Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, right, and Moana, voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, in a scene from the animated film, "Moana." (Disney via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s South Pacific animated tale “Moana” fell short of a “Frozen”-sized debut, but it nevertheless dominated the Thanksgiving box office with an estimated $81.1 million over the five-day weekend.

The well-reviewed “Moana,” set in ancient Polynesia, earned $55.5 million from Friday to Sunday. It didn’t match the 2013 Thanksgiving release of “Frozen,” which opened with $93.6 million. But “Moana” scored the second-highest Turkey Day debut ever.

Falling to second was J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which earned $65.8 million over the five-day weekend.

Those releases far outpaced more star-driven films.

The Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard World War II romance “Allied” opened with a mediocre $18 million over five days. Warren Beatty’s first film in 15 years, “Rules Don’t Apply,” bombed with $2.2 million over the five-day weekend.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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