In a rather surprising turn, Wrech-It Ralph had the best opening weekend of all time for a non-Pixar flick coming from Disney. I actually had to double check that because the number is not particularly high by Pixar standards. So yeah, we have a new record for the house of mouse.
All it took for Wreck-It Ralph to beat the record was a very strong, albeit nothing we haven’t seen before, $49 million opening. The previous best was 2010’s Tangled with $48.8 million which opened during Thanksgiving on a Wednesday, so it probably would have been higher under normal circumstances. Nonetheless, Wreck-It Ralph beat the debuts of all the past Disney animations that did not have the Pixar brand on them. I’m actually having a hard time finding any Disney film for that matter that’s not Pirates of the Caribbean or something Marvel, with a better opening. So major props for this new IP and here’s to more like it, hopefully in the very near future (not gonna hold my breath though).
Remember Robert Zemeckis, the director that brought us modern classics such as Forest Gump and Back to the Future? Well guess what, he finally decided to return (after 12 years no less) to live-action filmmaking with Flight, starring the always great Denzel Washington. And what a returns this was, Flight opened with $24.9 million from just 1884 theaters and rates great among both critics and moviegoers alike, so expect staying power at the box office in the coming weeks. Welcome back Mr. Zemeckis, we missed you.
Argo was 3rd, down a tiny 15.5% with 10.2 million for a total of $75.8 million. That number positions Argo really well in the race to become director Ben Affleck’s highest grossing film to date.
At #4 we got martial arts action flick The Man with the Iron Fists with a $7.9 million opening weekend. That’s about half the film’s reported $15 million budget and around what everyone was expecting.
Rounding out the top 5 was Taken 2 with $5.9 million which brings the film to a gross of $125.8 million so far. Remember when I said that based on critical receptions, this would drop fast and most likely would not even hit $100 million? Yeah, well it seems I was wrong here and people really did like Taken 2 for what it was (and as hard as it may seem to believe, I kind of did too).