Disney’s “Moana” rolled into theaters with a whopping $2.6 million at the Tuesday previews, beating the previous Tuesday preview record of $1.3 million held by last year’s “The Good Dinosaur.”
In comparison, Disney’s “Frozen” opened to $1.2 million, while this year’s “Zootopia” opened to $1.7 million and broke a Disney record for being the studio’s highest-grossing Thursday-night opening for a non-summer animation movie.
The animated film is expected to surpass $75 million at the box office this week, with some prognosticators putting its opening over $80 million for the five-day holiday. Disney is being a tad more conservative with estimates at around $70 million.
Featuring the voices of Dwayne Johnson and Auli’I Cravalho, “Moana” follows a little girl from Motunui Island, who goes on a quest to reunite the Heart of Te Fiti. To do so and stop her home island from decaying, she must find Maui, a legendary demigod.
Disney’s 56th animated feature was co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and features music written by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Moana,” which was produced for $150 million, has a stellar Rotten Tomatoes score of 99 percent.
Paramount’s World War II romantic drama “Allied,” starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, opened with $600,000 on Tuesday night, and is expected to end its five-day opening somewhere in the mid-teens. Comparably, “Bridge of Spies” opened to $500,000 at the previews and went on to gross $15.4 million over the weekend.
“Allied” was made for $85 million and opens in roughly 3,000 theaters domestically and 25 markets abroad. It holds a 62 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Finally, “Rules Don’t Apply,” starring Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich in addition to Warren Beatty, is opening in 2,400 theaters and is expected to earn about $9 million. It was made for $25 million (not counting marketing costs) and has a 57 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.
“Bad Santa 2,” starring Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates, earned $350,000 on Tuesday and will bag up to $20 million this weekend, according to estimates. The film currently holds a 26 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It will be interesting to see how Warner Bros.’ “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” holds over from last weekend, after it opened to $75 million. The “Harry Potter” spinoff should grab the No. 2 spot with an impressive $60 million over the five-day holiday.