Disney's 'Moana' Takes the Box Office Lead in Thanksgiving Day

By Darlene A. , Updated Nov 27, 2016 02:57 AM EST

Walt Disney's "Moana" takes the lead in the U.S. box office charts on Thanksgiving Day with staggering $15.7 million ticket sales across 3,875 locations. It even beats "Frozen's" record of $15.2 million last 2013.

Given the sales trend of the animated Polynesian movie, "Moana" is expected to hit the $94 million mark for the 5-day holiday weekend. According to Variety, this may match or even exceeded "Frozen's" Thanksgiving record of $93.4 million three years ago. This is the third Walt Disney movie this year after the release of "Zootopia" and "Finding Dory" in which both exceeded the $1 billion gross sales.

"Moana" starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the voice of a Polynesian demigod Maui, and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho as its titular non-princess, has received an "A" cinema score from audiences and has a 98 percent fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

"Moana" is a story of a teenage girl who leaves the comfort of her island home to save her people. She is reluctantly joined by the demigod Maui. The movie is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the director behind "Aladdin" and "The Little Mermaid".

According to Los Angeles Times, Disney confirmed that there were hundreds of young women who auditioned from the Pacific Islands until they found Auli'i Cravalho. Moreover, the original songs of the $150 million-budgeted movie "Moana" is written by the Tony- and Grammy-winning composer who created the Broadway phenomenon "Hamilton", Lim-Manuel Miranda with Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina.

Aside from the Walt Disney's "Moana", other films released on Thanksgiving eve are Fox drama "Rules Don't Apply", written and directed by Howard Hughes; World War II romantic drama "Allied", starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard; and Broad Green Pictures and Miramax comedy film "Bad Santa 2", featuring Billy Bob Thornton.

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