‘Moana’ cruises with $81.1M Thanksgiving weekend

This undated image released by Disney shows Auli’i Cravalho, 14, who will voice the title character in the animated film, "Moana." The film opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. (Hugh E. Gentry/Disney via AP)
This undated image released by Disney shows Auli’i Cravalho, 14, who will voice the title character in the animated film, "Moana." The film opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. (Hugh E. Gentry/Disney via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) – Disney’s South Pacific animated tale “Moana” fell short of a “Frozen”-sized debut but nevertheless dominated the Thanksgiving box office with an estimated $81.1 million over the five-day weekend.

The well-reviewed “Moana,” about a princess’s mythical journey in ancient Polynesia, earned $55.5 million from Friday to Sunday in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday. Though it didn’t match the 2013 Thanksgiving release of “Frozen” ($93.6 million over five days in 2013), “Moana” scored the second-highest Turkey Day debut ever.

Falling to second was J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which earned $65.8 million over the five-day weekend and $45.1 million over the three-day weekend. The Harry Potter spinoff, from Warner Bros., has brought in $156.2 million in two weeks. Overseas, “Fantastic Beasts,” debuted in China, where its $41.1 million fueled a weekend haul of $132 million internationally.

“Doctor Strange” was No. 3 with $13.4 million.

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