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'Wreck-It Ralph' Claims Box Office Victory With Strong Debut

Written By King on Monday, November 5, 2012 | 2:20 AM

While the moviegoing was quite soft last week following the Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast, this week's North American box office shows a solid performance as "Wreck-It Ralph" tops the chart with a strong result. The video game-themed animated movie successfully scores around $49.1 million from 3,752 theaters. 

The $165 million-budgeted family film breaks the record for the biggest debut for a Disney Animation Studios movie (not including Pixar titles). The record was previously held by 2010's "Tangled" which grossed $48.8 million on its Wednesday opening just in time for the Thanksgiving.

"For a company whose foundation was built on animation, it's a pretty incredible thing to have Tangled and now Wreck-It Ralph do such great business," says Walt Disney Pictures' vp distribution Dave Hollis. "It's a testament to the storytelling, and it's about connecting with both families and adults." 

Also performing well on its debut weekend is Denzel Washington's "Flight" with an estimated $25 million from 1,884 screens. Paramount President of domestic marketing and distribution Megan Colligan says of the studio's plan to expand the release of the film, "We wanted to be measured so that we can expand in the coming weeks." 

"There's no doubt that Bond will be a big movie, and we had always looked to expand Flight the weekend after Skyfall opens," Colligan goes on explaining. "With word-of-mouth this strong, there will be an audience for both films."

Last week's champion "Argo" places third with approximately $10.2 million for a total domestic gross of $75.8 million in its fourth week. Meanwhile, RZA's directorial debut "The Man with the Iron Fists" opens on the fourth place with only around $8.2 million from 1,868 theaters despite the fact that the marketing team boasted producer Quentin Tarantino's name to boost audience's interest to the martial art film.

Rounding up the top five is Liam Neeson's actioner "Taken 2" which holds strong with an estimated $6 million. After five weeks of playing nationwide, the "Taken" sequel collects a total domestic gross of $125.6 million, while also grabbing $343.4 million worldwide.

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