On the leaderboard at the box office arcade this weekend, the initials read WIR, for Wreck-It Ralph. They could also read WDP for Walt Disney Pictures, as it was Disney’s incredible marketing push that led Ralph to a $49.1 million opening weekend, dwarfing the competition in the same weekend it swallowed Star Wars. Although it wasn’t just marketing, it was quality. Ralph rode an A Cinemascore grade and an 84% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes to become the highest opening for a Disney Animation movie ever, narrowly beating Tangled‘s $48.8 million take.
Beyond Disney’s homage to all the video games you’ve loved for years there was a warm debut for the Denzel Washington led drama Flight, taking in $25 million in only 1,884 theaters (as opposed to Ralph‘s 3,752). That’s a ridiculous average of $13k per theater, which isn’t bad for a movie just off the festival circuit. And not bad for a movie that was made for around $30 million. Almost out of the top 5 was The Man with the Iron Fists, grossing $8.2 million in about the same amount of theaters as Flight.
For a full list of the grosses for this weekend, check out Box Office Mojo.
It’s important to see films like Wreck-It Ralph and Flight get out to fast starts, as there might not be much left when the highly anticipated Skyfall rips into theaters this coming week. The Daniel Craig starring action extravaganza has already grossed $287 million worldwide and will now set its sights on the $67 million opening gross of Quantum of Solace to become the best opening Bond film of all-time. Will it get there? Most likely, but time will tell.