Weekend Wrap Up: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Fixes Box Office

The early to mid October box office was unusually strong, but by the end of the month, things seem to start fizzling out as several new releases (Paranormal Activity 4, Cloud Atlas, among others) failed to impress. The Holiday Movie Season doesn’t usually begin in earnest until Thanksgiving weekend or the weekend before, but early November can still some some very strong openings and often times Holiday-themed flicks. This weekend, however, the box office is revived by two very different pictures, both of which had very successful openings.

Wreck-It Ralph

I’ve been high on my praise for the brilliant concept of this film, and I was happy to see it do well, opening to a very solid $49 million. It’s a few million below what I’d predicted, but this a great time of year for kid/family films. Plus, with great reviews (84% at Rotten Tomatoes) it should do well in the coming weeks and probably even get a boost over Thanksgiving weekend. A final gross over $200 million is very possible.

Denzel Washington lands in second place with the strong debut of the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight. Opening to $25 million in just 1884 theatres, the per theatre average of Flight was actually slightly higher than that of Wreck-It Ralph. With a modest $31 million budget, this should turn into a very solid hit for Paramount.

Continuing to demonstrate great legs, Argo eased 15% to $10.2 million. Argo has now surpassed the pace of The Town after lagging slightly behind for its first few weekends. Should it continue to hold this well and hang around long enough still be relevant enough to benefit from Thanksgiving, Argo should definitely inch its way over 100 million.

Debuting to just $8.2 million is The Man with the Iron Fists. This is well below even Ninja Assassin’s $13 million opening. However, the budget was only 15 million so this won’t be a complete failure. Taken 2 slipped 22% to $6 million even. With 127 million in the bank, it’s looking like it will fall a bit short of the original’s $145 million gross.

Cloud Atlas dropped 45% to $5.3 million. With just $18.3 million so far, the Wachowski siblings are probably thinking pretty hard about trying to return to the Matrix franchise at this point. Now that Halloween has passed and there’s direct competition from Wreck-It Ralph, Hotel Transylvania drops an understandable 52% to $4.5 million. Still, its $138 million total is extremely impressive and might even be enough to convince the studio to try to a sequel.

Paranormal Activity 4 continues to erode, this time dropping 50% to $4.3 million. With a shade under $50 million right now, it will end by far the lowest grossing of the franchise but nonetheless wildly profitable. Here Comes the Boom has held well since its debut, but it still falls way short of most of Kevin James’s recent projects. Its drop this weekend was 31% and another $3.6 million brings the total to about $36 million. Finally, in tenth, Silent Hill: Revelation crashed 59% to $3.3 million. With a sum of just under $14 million, the grand total of this sequel might fall short of the opening of its predecessor. Talk about audience erosion.

Next weekend brings us only one new wide release, though Lincoln debuts in limited release. However, said wide release should be a doozy and I’m eagerly looking forward to it.

Skyfall: With slick trailers, absolutely glowing reviews (95% at Rotten Tomatoes) and the weekend all to itself, the stage is set for Skyfall to have a massive opening. I originally predicted it might fall short of the $67 million opening of Quantum of Solace, but with all the current buzz, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go above $70 million. Even still, I’ll go the conservative route and predict a still strong $60 million.

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