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‘Moana’ Rides to Top of Box Office Again With $28.4 Million

Aaron Eckhart horror movie ”Incarnate“ has mediocre debut

Disney’s “Moana” is No. 1 at the box office for its second weekend in a row, earning an estimated $28.4 million and pushing the studio’s overall domestic box office to new heights.

The studio’s North American total is now $2.49 billion, which is a new industry record.

In second place is another returning title, Warner Bros. spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which made $18.5 million during its third weekend in theaters. It’s domestic total is now $183.5 million, and it passed $500 million globally early last week.

The only new wide-release opener this weekend is the small-budgeted horror film “Incarnate,” which grossed an estimated $2.6 million. It didn’t gain enough steam to crack into the top five, though it wasn’t designed to contend with tentpole titles.

The PG-13 movie stars Aaron Eckhart as a scientist who taps into the subconscious mind of a boy who is possessed by a demon.

Released by BH Tilt, a unit of Blumhouse, “Incarnate” is playing in 1,737 locations, targeting diehard genre fans.

Despite the fact that “Incarnate” didn’t unseat any major holdover titles, the film’s opening figures are on the way to offsetting its small production budget, which was roughly $5 million. A stronger debut would have been better news for the studio, which also spread the word on a very low-budgeted digital marketing campaign.

Given the lack of competition, this should be the first weekend in a long while that the top five highest-grossing movies from the previous weekend make the list during the next frame. (See this week’s list at the bottom of this post.)

Last weekend’s five-day holiday standings were as follows:

1. “Moana” (Disney) — $81.1 million in Week 1 ($81.1 million total)
2. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Warner Bros.) — $65.8 million in Week 2 ($156.2 million total)
3. “Doctor Strange” (Disney) — $18.9 million in Week 4 ($205.1 million total)
4. “Allied” (Paramount) — $18 million in Week 1 ($18 million total)
5. “Arrival” (Paramount) — $15.6 million in Week 3 ($62.4 million total)

“Moana” performed better than expected, with a strong 50 percent drop at the domestic box office. Having opened in 30 international markets, including China, the film has now earned an estimated $177 million globally. France, Russia, Belgium and the Netherlands had the strongest debuts abroad.

“Moana” features the voice of newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as an adventurous teen who leaves her Pacific island, joined by demigod Maui (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) on a quest to save her people. The film is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin”) and features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i.

“Moana” moviegoers were also treated to the animated short “Inner Workings” from Leo Matsuda, who was a story artist on “Big Hero 6” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”

The Top Five:
1. “Moana” (Disney) — $28.4 million in Week 2 ($199.9 million)
2. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Warner Bros.) — $18.5 million in Week 3 ($183.5 million)
3. “Arrival” (Paramount) — $7.3 million in Week 4 ($73.1 million total)
4. “Allied” (Paramount) — $7.1 million in Week 2 ($28.9 million total)
5. “Doctor Strange” (Disney) — $6.5 million in Week 5 ($215.3 million total)