'Wreck-It Ralph,' 'Flight' Both Soar at Box Office

Three new pictures breathing fresh life into the box-office Top 10 all posted outstanding numbers, but it was the animated Wreck-It Ralph that climbed to the top of the charts. 
 
Rich Moore’s video-game tribute tallied a whopping $49.1 million in its opening frame, making it the highest-grossing opening for an animated Walt Disney movie (topping Tangled and its $48.8M). The movie appealed to parents who grew up on video game cabinets in dark and dusty arcades. But it also appealed to energetic kids who are growing used to 3D features. 
 
Animation has been doing very well at the box office in 2012. Hotel Transylvania also stays in the Top 10 this weekend, landing at No. 7 with $4.5M (for a grand total of $137.5M). And there are three animated movies in the Top 10 for 2012 – Brave ($235.8M), Madagascar 3 ($216M) and Ice Age: Continental Drift ($160M). 
 
Flight couldn’t be more different than Wreck-It Ralph … which might help explain why it did so well on its opening weekend, earning an estimated $25M. 
 
Robert Zemeckis’ grown-up study of substance abuse in the wake of an airplane crash marks one of Denzel Washington’s finest performances in his illustrious career. But it’s a difficult sell to mainstream audiences. Paramount wisely played up the plane crash, which is a spectacular effect. But the heavy lifting happens in the second half of the film. I hope word-of-mouth continues to power the film as it progresses on its planned Oscar campaign. 
 
And because the theme of this week is “different,” a wildly different chop-sockey kung-fu epic, The Man with the Iron Fists, also lured ticket-buyers over the weekend, posting an estimated $8.2M. 
 
Though the movie marked the directorial debut of RZA from Wu-Tang clan, it sold itself on a number of bigger names, from producer Quentin Tarantino to supporting actors Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu.
 
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
 
MOVIE / WEEKEND / TOTAL
 
1. Wreck-It Ralph, $49.1M
 
2. Flight, $25M
 
3. Argo, $10.2M, $75.8M 
 
4. The Man with the Iron Fists, $8.2M
 
5. Taken 2, $6M, $125.6M
 
6. Cloud Atlas, $5.2M, $18.2M
 
7. Hotel Transylvania, $4.5M, $137.5M 
 
8. Paranormal Activity 4, $4.3M, $49.5M
 
9. Here Comes the Boom, $3.6M, $35.5M
 
10. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, $3.3M, $13.9M
 

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