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‘Moana’ takes over US box office over Thanksgiving

Disney’s latest animated film set in the South Pacific has earned incredibly strong reviews

Image Credit: Disney
An image from Disney’s “Moana,” featuring the demigod Maui, left, voiced by Dwayne Johnson.

Moana paddled its way to the top of the Thanksgiving Day box office, with an impressive opening so far for the Disney animated tent-pole feature.

The film, a musical romp set in the South Pacific and featuring voice work from Dwayne Johnson and songs by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, debuted on Wednesday to a strong $15 million (Dh55 million), leading into an estimated Thursday take of nearly $10 million, good for a $25 million haul so far this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film earned incredibly strong reviews, including a 97 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang said that “Those seeking a vacation from everyday reality without springing for that last-minute island getaway will scarcely believe their good fortune.”

Moana knocked Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Harry Potter-adjacent film starring Eddie Redmayne, from the top spot. Despite slipping to second, Beasts is having a strong weekend, pulling in $11 million on Wednesday and $9 million on Thursday. That brings its total to more than $110 million in its first week of release.

Doctor Strange, Disney’s latest Marvel superhero extravaganza, continued to be a force on the charts, pulling in $2.5 million to keep it at No. 3. Its total earnings in 21 days of release is closing in on $200 million. Brad Pitt’s Second World War drama Allied came in at expectations, with just a little more than $2 million on Thursday for a two-day total of $5 million. The alien-invasion thriller Arrival continued to stay strong on word of mouth, hovering right at $2 million on Thursday for a total of $51 million in two weeks of release.