Friday night box office: “Moana” is up to $47.4 million after raking in $21 million Friday night. The latest Disney hit is staying just a little bit ahead of Warner Bros. “Fantastic Beasts” — which is nearing $400 mil worldwide after just 8 days. Disney is also still booming with “Doctor Strange,” closing in on $600 million worldwide.
The stars of “Beasts” and “Strange” are respectively British Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne and British Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, which is kind of interesting. They are also going to regular dramatic Oscar nominees for the next 20 years, I would guess, and they are already commanding huge commercial franchises.
Meanwhile “Lion” roared into four theaters last night to sold out audiences. Watch Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel’s hanky box of a beautiful film grow and grow in the days ahead. Ditto “Manchester by the Sea.” Each are potential Best Picture nominees.
Also “Arrival” from Paramount continues to do excellent business. But starting to collapse is the mawkish, hokey “Hacksaw Ridge.” While the technical aspects of the war scenes are very very good (explosions, fires, body parts, blood and guts), the story is just dreadful. And Mel Gibson has turned the main character, Desmond Doss, into his vision of Christ. Toward the end the imagery is so overblown it’s laughable.