Parents clearly wanted to reward their kids for coping with last weekend's terrifying storm by taking them to the movies to see Disney's animated Wreck-It Ralph. In many areas of the East Coast, schools were still cleaning up on Friday and many parents also had the day off, boosting matinee business on that day. The result: an opening at the high end of forecasts with an estimated $49.1 million, topping the $48 million taken in by Disney's Tangled in 2010, which set a record for the studio's animation unit. Even more impressive was the soaring performance of Paramount's Flight, starring Denzel Washington, which debuted with about $25 million, nearly twice what many pundits had predicted it would earn. Placing third was Warner Bros.' Argo, which continued to show great legs as it raked in around $10.2 million in its fourth week, dropping just 15 percent from last weekend. Universal's The Man with the Iron Fists also got off to a strong start with $8.2 million, although it played in only 1,868 theaters. Rounding out the top five was 20th Century Fox's Taken 2, which added another $6 million to its total gross, which now stands at $125.7 million after five weeks. Overall, the box office was up around 15 percent above the comparable weekend a year ago.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. Wreck-It Ralph, $49.1 million; 2. Flight, $25 million; 3. Argo, $10.2 million; 4. The Man With the Iron Fists, $10.2 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, $3.3 million.