Wreck It Ralph, John C. Reilly


Wreck-It Ralph took the first weekend of the holiday box-office season with a $49.1 million debut, per estimates.

Denzel Washington's Flight soared, too, with a $25 million Friday-Sunday opening that Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian called "much stronger than expected."

James Bond, meanwhile, continued to kill overseas, with Skyfall grossing $156 million.

The retro-minded, video-game-based Wreck-It Ralph now stands as the biggest-debuting animated movie in Disney history (no, not including the Pixar films). The previous record-holder was Chicken Little, per stats at The-Numbers.com.

The film, starring the voices of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, also debuted internationally, where it scored another $12 million, and upped its three-day, worldwide take to $61.1 million.

With a reputed budget of $165 million, however, Wreck-It Ralph still has work to do. But its good buzz (it earned an A CinemaScore from opening-weekend audiences), and its lack of family competition for the next few weeks should help the movie get the job done.

Flight is one of the bigger openings of the Washington's stellar career, and probably produced one of his bigger bangs for the buck: The drama about a partying pilot reportedly was made for under $30 million.

All in all, a great start for a movie with serious award-season ambitions.

The other major new release, RZA's The Man With the Iron Fists, grossed $8.2 million, a good start for the $15 million movie. 

Where Flight stands in the Oscar game

Elsewhere, Skyfall upped its 10-day, international box-office total to $287 million, its studio reported. The latest 007 adventure opens here this coming Friday.

Cloud Atlas held up OK in its second weekend, even as it fell four places in the standings, and failed to get much closer to matching its $100 million budget. Overall, the much-debated epic is at $18.3 million overall domestically.

Last weekend's No. 1 movie, Ben Affleck's Argo, dropped to third, but had a strong hold, ticket-sale-wise. After four weeks, that Oscar contender is at $75.9 million.

Tyler Perry's Alex Cross dropped out of the Top 10 after a $23.1 million domestic run, per Exhibitor Relations, that equaled its price tag, but failed to establish its star as an action-thriller draw.

Here's a rundown of the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Hollywood.com:

  1. Wreck-It Ralph, $49.1 million
  2. Flight, $25 million
  3. Argo, $10.2 million
  4. The Man With the Iron Fists, $8.2 million
  5. Taken 2, $6 million
  6. Cloud Atlas, $5.3 million
  7. Hotel Transylvania, $4.5 million
  8. Paranormal Activity 4, $4.3 million
  9. Here Comes the Boom, $3.6 million
  10. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, $3.3 million

(Originally published at 9:24 a.m. PT on Nov. 4, 2012.)

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