Moana is a hit - but Kiwi fans still can't see it until Boxing Day

Disney's South Pacific animated tale Moana has fallen short of a Frozen-sized debut in America, but it's still a hit.

The film, starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as well as Kiwi voices Jemaine Clement and Temuera Morrison, dominated America's Thanksgiving box office with an estimated US$81.1 million (NZ$115m) over the five-day weekend.

The well-reviewed Moana, set in ancient Polynesia, earned US$55.5 million (NZ$78.8m) from Friday to Sunday.

It didn't match the 2013 Thanksgiving release of Frozen, which opened with US$93.6 million (NZ$132.9).

But Moana scored the second-highest Turkey Day debut ever.

It doesn't debut in New Zealand cinemas until Boxing Day.

Falling to second was JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which earned US$65.8 million (NZ$93.4m) over the five-day weekend.

Those releases far outpaced more star-driven films.

The Brad Pitt-Marion Cotillard World War II romance Allied opened with a mediocre US$18 million (NZ$25.6m) over five days.

Warren Beatty's first film in 15 years, Rules Don't Apply, bombed with US$2.2 (NZ$3.1m) million over the five-day weekend.

- AP

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