Disney's Wreck-It Ralph opened the holiday season with a bang this weekend. The animated video game comedy opened with a strong $49.1 million, along with an A Cinemascore. The film represents a new high for Disney Animation Studios, whose largest previous hit was 2010's Tangled which opened with $48.7 million (Tangled went on to make $200 million). This film will have much longer legs than any other animated film this year. The candy colored atmosphere and jokes are broadly appealing and the only other family animated film this holiday season is Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians. I did enjoy Wreck-It Ralph quite a bit, and although it is not flawless, I would recommend it, especially to people with kids. It's a pleasure to watch and it is very clever and funny.
In second place was Paramount's Flight, the Denzel Washington starred drama. The film surprised with a $25 million opening, which is very high for an R-rated alcoholism drama. The film opened even higher than Ben Affleck's Argo, which opened to around $19 million. Flight also grabbed an A- Cinemascore and a budget of $31 million. It will be interesting to see if Flight can hold as well as Argo has. Speaking of Argo, the political thriller made around $10.2 million this weekend for a cumulative total of $75.8 million. Argo should have no trouble passing $100 million and if it gets an awards-season re-release, then it will get even higher. Bet Warner Bros. didn't see this one coming.
RZA's directorial debut The Man With The Iron Fists opened to $8.2 million this weekend, but a weak C+ Cinemascore. The film looks to have no staying power, as Skyfall opens next weekend which will take away most of the action crowd. Good thing is that the film only had a $15 million budget.
In addition, Taken 2 finished 5th with $6 million, Cloud Atlas was 6th with $5.2 million, and the other films dropped considerably. Overall moviegoing was at $138.3 which is up 21% from last year. Next week sees the release of Skyfall and a limited release of 11 theaters for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Skyfall is already tearing it up overseas and look for an $80+ million debut for next weekend.