The holiday box-office kicked into high-gear this weekend, as possible award-winners begin to clash with studio blockbusters. This week the adult-comedy “Office Christmas Party” hoped to topple “Disney’s Moana” from the top-spot, but it was limited-release like “La La Land,” “Miss Sloane,” and “Nocturnal Animals” that saw terrific improvements from the week before. Any victory may be short-lived however, as Disney prepares to strike back with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in just one-week.
Although it came close, “Office Christmas Party” from Paramount Pictures wasn’t able to top “Moana” this week. The holiday-comedy grossed $17.5M across 3,210 locations this weekend, while “Disney’s Moana” hit number-one for the third-week in a row with $18.84M domestically. This brings the “Moana” running domestic total to $145M in three-weeks. “Moana” was directed by Ron Clements and Don Hall, working off a screenplay written by Jared Bush, and a story written by Ron Clements. The film features the voice-talents of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson and Rachel House. “Office Christmas Party” was directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the screenplay was written by Justin Malen and Laura Solon. The film stars Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn and T.J. Miller.
Third-place went to “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” from Warner Bros. Pictures, the fantasy-adventure brought in another $10.78M this weekend. While its popularity on the charts may be starting to falter, the film remained in 3,626 locations. The Harry Potter spinoff has now earned close to $200M domestically, a terrific sum considering the film has only been in theaters for four-weeks. “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” was directed by David Yates, working off the now best-selling screenplay written by J.K. Rowling. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol. The screenplay itself has been climbing up the sales-charts on sites like Amazon.com all month, and now sits at number two.
Fourth-place overall on the domestic charts went to another Paramount Pictures hit, “Arrival,” which brought in an additional $5.6M this weekend. The sci-fi mystery remained in 3,115 locations and has grossed $81.45M in five-weeks. “Arrival” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, working off a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer. The film is based on the story written by Ted Chiang called “Story of Your Life“. The film stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.
Wrapping up the top-five at the box-office was “Doctor Strange” which grabbed another $4.63M across 2,763 locations. The Marvel-Disney joint has been in theaters for six-weeks now, and has grossed over $222.36M domestically. “Marvel’s Doctor Strange” was directed by Scott Derrickson, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams.
Not making the top-five but worth mentioning are this year’s limited-release award-seekers. At the top of the pile this weekend, and seemingly crowd favorite, is “La La Land” from Lionsgate. The musical brought in $855K in just five-theaters, easily topping the list of limited releases. “La La Land” was written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the film stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Rosemarie DeWitt.
“Nocturnal Animals” expanded into more theaters this weekend, the Focus Features thriller grossed over $3.19M this weekend to make it all the way to seventh-place overall. The film has already grossed over $6.21M, a great hit for the studio which released the film four-weeks ago. “Nocturnal Animals” was written and directed by Tom Ford, the film is based on the popular novel written by Austin Wright, and stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon. “Miss Sloane” expanded its release this week as well, grossing an additional $1.9M across 1,648 theaters. The film has now grossed over $2.038M domestically. “Miss Sloane” was directed by John Madden, the script was written by Jonathan Perera. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
These wins at the box-office are most likely very temporary, as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is set to hit theaters next week. While most studios decided not to open against the new Star Wars installment, “Collateral Beauty” will debut across an estimated 2,900 theaters.