Disney’s “Moana” sailed to the top of the Thanksgiving box office, earning a mighty $81.1 million over the five-day holiday period and $55.5 million for the weekend.
Its success builds on the studio’s hot streak. Disney has released five of the year’s 10 highest-grossing films, is the leader in terms of market share, and is poised to set a new record for annual grosses. Its hits include “Captain America: Civil War,” “Zootopia,” “Doctor Strange,” “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” and now “Moana,” with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” waiting in the wings.
Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis said that the success of “Moana” and others like it justified the company’s decision to make fewer films, while taking bigger bets. Part of that strategy involved shelling out billions of dollars to buy Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, the brands behind “Toy Story,” “The Avengers,” and “Star Wars.”