'Moana' ho ho ho-lds off 'Office Christmas Party,' retains number one spot for third week running


It was tight, but Moana managed to maintain its spot at the top of the box office for the third week in a row, out-earning newcomer Office Christmas Party by a cool mil. (Well, mil point three, but "cool mil" sounds much better, don't you think?) Moana’s weekend gross of $18.8 million brings its domestic total to $145 million and its international cume to $238.8 million. Office Christmas Party, meanwhile, surpassed industry expectations with $17.5 million. 

Lagging behind in spot number three with $10.7 million was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in its fourth week (total domestic $199.3 million), followed by Arrival (domestic gross $5.6 million, total gross $81.4 million) and Doctor Strange (domestic gross $4.6 million, total gross $222.3 million). Arrival continues to have a very solid hold, adding 200 theatres and dropping just under 23% in its fifth week.

The big limited release story belongs to La La Land, which opened to $855,000 in only five theatres. That gives the awards contender the biggest opening average of the year (surpassing October’s Moonlight bow) and the tenth largest opening average of all time. Lionsgate adds 200 theatres next weekend, with additional expansion taking place over Christmas.

Speaking of expansion, Nocturnal Animals did well by adding 1,135 screens, bringing its theatre count to 1,262 and its weekend gross to $3.19 million. Manchester by the Sea also had a strong expansion, earning $3.15 million on 366 screens (up from 156 last weekend). Less successful was EuropaCorp’s expansion of Miss Sloane, which made the leap from 4 screens to 1,648 but couldn’t quite make it to the $2 million mark. Also out in specialty release was France-Belgium-Luxembourg co-production The Brand New Testament, which bowed to $8,808 on five screens.

Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, which could mean a bump for La La Land (seven nominations), Moonlight (six) and Manchester by the Sea (five). But there’s a Force of box office destruction on the horizon, and it’s no moon: It’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, opening next weekend and poised to drown out the competition.