Moana

Thanksgiving weekend is routinely a big weekend for family films which is part of the reason why it's a weekend Disney has owned for a long time. No movie has owned the weekend like Frozen did, but is that about to change? Disney's newest animated princess, Moana, is going to take a shot at dethroning the snow queen. Through Thanksgiving Day Moana has been tracking ahead of where Frozen was at this point in 2013. Estimates have it looking to be a close race but it's possible that Moana could be on the way to breaking all those massive records that Frozen set.

Over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend in 2013 Frozen grossed over $93 million. According to Deadline, projections for Moana are currently somewhere north of $85 million, though exactly how far north of that they'll get is hard to guess at this point. Moana easily set a Disney record for both during Tuesday night previews, more than doubling what Frozen did, and for its Wednesday opening, though those numbers were a bit closer. Add the just short of $10 million that Moana did yesterday and the film is in a pretty good position going into the Black Friday weekend when things are really expected to explode.

Moana is getting rave reviews by critics and the fact that's opening so well certainly implies that audiences are already excited about it. Even if Moana only does the minimum expected $85 million, that will still make it the third highest-grossing film in the history of the Thanksgiving weekend. Only Frozen and the second Hunger Games movie will have done more business.

It seems clear that Moana will be a hit. Frozen, however, was more than just a hit. It was a phenomenon. Disney is still pulling in the fans, and the merchandising dollars, off of that one. It would be quite a tall order for Moana to become the new darling of Disney, however, a lot of what people liked about Frozen was the way it was able to both embrace, and subvert the traditional Disney formula, and Moana does this as well, albeit, in very different ways.

Odds are we'll know how things are going to stack up by tomorrow morning, Black Friday is usually the highest grossing day of the weekend, with so many people already out and about doing their shopping apparently many decide to take a break and rest their feet in a movie theater. While Black Friday was the biggest day for Frozen on opening weekend ($26.8 million), it was only barely ahead of Saturday ($25.3 million). This means that Moana will need to put up a couple of solid days if it is going to overtake the current Disney champ. Although, it's lead going into these last three days may be the cushion it needs to be the new champion.

Will you be checking out Moana this weekend, or have you already? Let us know in the comments below.

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