A new franchise is born as Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph opened atop the box office with an estimated $49.1 million, the biggest debut for a non-Pixar Disney animated feature ever. The previous record was held by 2010′s Tangled with $48.77 million so we will have to check the actual numbers on Monday to see if this holds.
Unlike most animations, Wreck-It Ralph appealed to a far wider audience by paying homage to older video game characters such as Sonic The Hedgehog and the “Street Fighter” crew. The film will likely continue to do excellent business into Thanksgiving after receiving a strong reception as shown by its “A” CinemaScore rating and an 84% Rotten Tomatoes score. The film’s strong performance virtually guarantees that this is the start of a new franchise for Mickey Mouse & Company. The fact that entire generations of people were raised on video games should make it easy for Disney to expand the Wreck-It Ralph.
In second place, Denzel Washington was a bit overshadowed by Disney’s blockbusting week but Paramount’s Flight was nonetheless off to a very good start with an estimated $25 million. The Robert Zemeckis movie opened at only 1,884 locations and compares very positively in light of Washington’s Unstoppable which opened to the tune of $22.7 million in November 2010. Washington has quietly put together five straight $20 million + opening weekend and he is already receiving some Best Actor Oscar buzz for his performance. The adult-themed movie attracted an older audience with 89% over the age of 25.
Universal’s low-budget martial arts movie The Man with the Iron Fists claimed an estimated $8.2 million, good for fourth place. Starring an eclectic cast highlighted by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, the film attracted a mostly male audience (64%) and received a mediocre “C+” CinemaScore. With Skyfall releasing next week, it’s likely that this niche film will take a big hit moving forward.
What did you watch this weekend? Let us know in the comments!
Weekend Box Office
|1. Iron Man 3||$72.5M|
|2. The Great Gatsby||$51.1M|
|3. Pain and Gain||$5.0M|
|4. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples||$4.5M|
|7. The Croods||$3.6M|
|8. The Big Wedding||$2.5M|
|10. Oz The Great and Powerful||$0.8M|