Doom may have flopped, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may have been all buzz and no buck, but Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph proved that there is a place for videogame-themed movies at the box office this weekend.
The $165 million animated film topped the chart with $49.1 million out of 3,752 theaters — the strongest debut ever for a Walt Disney Animation production (i.e. not including Pixar titles). Disney’s Tangled opened with a whopping $48.8 million over the more lucrative Thanksgiving weekend in 2010, so Wreck-It Ralph‘s slightly larger bow (and its hefty $13,086 per theater average) should be viewed as a major victory for the Mouse House.
Now the studio is looking ahead not only to Thanksgiving, but Christmas as well, both huge moviegoing seasons since kids are out of school and parents off of work. “There really are few things for families in the time between now and then,” says Dave Hollis, Disney’s Executive Vice President of Theatrical Distribution (global), who cites DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians and Disney’s own 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. as the only animated competition for the rest of 2012. “[We] have great word-of-mouth and a story that resonates,” Hollis says, “we feel really good about where we’re headed for the rest of this run.”
Disney has every right to feel good. Wreck-It Ralph earned an “A” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, and very positive reactions will help the film hold up even better than a typical family film would anyway. READ FULL STORY »