1. Moana- $18.8M/$145M
2. Office Christmas Party (review)- $17.5M
Office Christmas Party was the only wide release but even so this is a strong start for the R-rated holiday comedy. Undoubtedly part of it has to do with it looking like a more enjoyable raunchy Christmas film than Bad Santa 2, but also that it boasts an incredible comedic cast of Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, TJ Miller, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Jillian Bell, and many more. And they've done a pretty good job of highlighting its strength of talent and the film's most raucous elements. Believe it or not, the film actually set a record for Christmas movies released in December...because most tend to come out in November for some reason.
3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them- $10.7M/$199.3M
4. Arrival- $5.6M/$81.4M
5. Doctor Strange- $4.6M/$222.3M
6. Allied- $4M/$35.6M
7. Nocturnal Animals (review) $3.19M/$6.2M
Leaping into the top 10 was Tom Ford's bleak but star-studded thriller Nocturnal Animals, the second movie on this list to feature Amy Adams in the lead role. The film has been out four weeks but only just expanded to over 1200 theaters, giving it $3.1M and $6.2M overall. This is probably as big as it will get domestically as there just isn't much buzz about it at all.
8. Manchester by the Sea (review)- $3.15M/$8.3M
Also moving up was Kenneth Lonergan's likely Best Picture contender, Manchester by the Sea, which added $3.15M in its fourth weekend. The sobering drama led by Casey Affleck's Oscar-worthy performance isn't the kind of movie that will be a crowd pleaser, and so it needs the awards season push that will likely come in the next few weeks.
9. Trolls- $3.11M/$145.4M
10. Hacksaw Ridge- $2.3M/$60.8M
The big release of the week was Damien Chazelle's Best Picture frontrunner, La La Land (review), which danced its way to an incredible $855K in only 5 locations. That's a whopping $171K average for the musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and bodes well for the inevitable expansion given how hotly this one has been anticipated.