'Moana' Threepeats at #1, 'La La Land' Opens Big in Limited Release
Disney's Moana was able to fend off Paramount's Office Christmas Party to secure a third weekend at #1 as all films prepare to make way next weekend for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and a tidal wave of anticipated holiday releases over the coming weeks. This weekend also saw a couple of major awards season contenders in Manchester by the Sea and La La Land deliver terrific performances along with the strong expansion of Focus' Nocturnal Animals as well as the not-so-strong expansion of EuropaCorp's Miss Sloane.

With an estimated $18.8 million, Disney's Moana finished #1 for the third weekend straight as its domestic cume now stands at $145 million. Internationally the animated title brought in an estimated $23.5 million as its overseas gross grows to $93.8 million for a global cume of $238.8 million.

Coming in second position, and ahead of Paramount's conservative estimates heading into the weekend is the ensemble comedy Office Christmas Party with an estimated $17.5 million. Opening day audiences gave the film a "B" CinemaScore, which is on par with last year's R-rated December comedy Sisters, a comparison used in our weekend preview, but don't expect this one to have the same kind of legs that film had. While the holiday season will likely help its performance along the way, this opening is on par with previous 2016 R-rated comedy releases such as How to be Single and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, both of which went on to finish their domestic runs just over $46 million. Office Christmas Party played to an audience that was 56% male vs. 44% female, of which 83% were over the age of 25.

Office Christmas Party also kicked things off overseas, debuting in 49 markets where it brought in an estimated $16.4 million, led by a $2.3 million, second place finish in Russia. Other openers included Mexico ($855k), Italy ($648k), Brazil ($620k) and Colombia ($222k).

In third position, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them dropped 40% in its fourth weekend, bringing in an estimated $10.78 million as its domestic gross now stands at $199.3 million. Internationally, the film brought in an estimated $33.1 million from 67 territories, bringing its international cume to $480.7 million and a worldwide total that tops $680 million.

Paramount's Arrival continues to draw in audiences, dropping just 23% in its fifth weekend in release. The sci-fi feature brought in an estimated $5.6 million this weekend from 3,115 theaters (+200) as its domestic cume climbs to $81.4 million. Internationally the film added an estimated $5.76 million from 45 territories as its global cume is now just shy of $130 million.

Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange rounds out the top five with an estimated $4.6 million bringing its domestic total to $222.3 million. Internationally the film added $1.6 million, bringing its international total to $423.4 million, making it the tenth largest overseas release of 2016 after topping Suicide Squad ($420.5m) last week. Doctor Strange's worldwide total stands at $645.7 million, making it the seventh largest worldwide release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe having now passed Thor: The Dark World ($644.6m).

Moving to seventh position, Focus' expanded release of Nocturnal Animals brought in an estimated $3.19 million from 1,262 theaters (+1,135) bringing the film's cume to $6.2 million domestically. The film also brought in an estimated $1.2 million from 28 international markets, bringing its worldwide total to $16.2 million.

Coming in just behind Nocturnal Animals by just $38k, Roadside's distribution of Amazon's Oscar hopeful Manchester by the Sea had a strong weekend, bringing in an estimated $3.15 million from just 366 theaters as its cume now climbs to $8.3 million domestically. The film will expand nationwide next weekend into approximately 1,200 theaters.

Unable to secure a spot in the top ten, Europacorp's Miss Sloane expanded into 1,648 theaters (+1,644) and could only manage to score an estimated $1.9 million, bringing the film's cume to just over $2 million.

Another strong awards season contender did incredibly well this weekend as Lionsgate's La La Land debuted in just five theaters and delivered an estimated $855,000 for a $171,000 per theater average, the tenth-largest opening per theater average of all-time (third largest for a live action film) and the best opening theater average of 2016. The film played to an audience that was 48% male vs. 52% female, of which 53% were 30-years old and over. La La Land will expand to 200 locations next weekend and even further on December 25th.

La La Land also kicked off its international release this weekend, bringing in an estimated $4.6 million, 87% of which came from South Korea where it brought in an estimated $4 million. The film will debut in the Netherlands on Dec. 22 followed by a release in Australia on December 26.

Continuing the awards season theme, Fox Searchlight's Jackie expanded into 26 theaters (+21) this weekend and brought in an estimated $495,000. The film is looking to add another 14 markets next weekend, bringing its overall theater count to ~70 locations, followed by a continued expansion the following weekend into 250-300 theaters over the Christmas holiday.

Among international highlights not yet mentioned, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures' Sing debuted in 12 international markets this weekend, getting a jump start on the animated feature's December 21 domestic release and pulled in an estimated $9.6 million. This includes a #1 opening in Germany with an estimated $4.8 million and a #1 opening in Austria with $813,000. Next weekend, the film opens in Greece, Netherlands and Romania.

Underworld: Blood Wars added another four markets this weekend and brought in an estimated $9.2 million internationally from 55 total territories, bringing the film's overseas total to $34.7 million. The film premieres in North America on January 6, 2017.

Additionally, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back grossed $1.9 million from 30 markets this weekend as its international cume has now surpassed $100 million, though its nearly $160 million worldwide cume doesn't come close to the $218.3 million for the first Reacher film.

Overall, the weekend was down 12.8% compared to last weekend while being up nearly 10% compared to last year as the top twelve grossed a combined $76.4 million.

Next weekend sees the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story into 4,000+ theaters as early expectations for the film continue to climb with some already suggesting an opening as much as $140-150 million domestically. We'll have our weekend forecast in just a few days along with opening expectations for Will Smith's Collateral Beauty, debuting in 2,900+ theaters.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.