The buzz on Wreck It Ralph was very strong up to its release on Friday, November 2.
Even with the terrible disaster of Hurricane Sandy, box office pundits were predicting people would be out in force to see the movie and get their minds off their problems. As it turns out, natural disaster or not, Wreck It Ralph did extremely well at the box office, bringing in a cool $49.1 million this past weekend.
Seems like the box office pundits are always able to find how any movie opening up has broken some record or other, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, Ralph broke the record for a Disney Animation Movie. (Again, these record breakers are often fairly silly announcements, because the Reporter added that “moviegoing for the weekend on the East Coast was solid but not spectacular.”)
And indeed, families were looking for an escape, and with most of the 300 theaters closed by Hurricane Sandy reopened for the weekend, Wreck It Ralph proved an entertaining antidote for a very hard week. As one Disney exec told The Wrap, “Our thoughts go out to all those who were and are still being affected by the storm. And if in some way we offered folks who might have been ready for something upbeat a nice distraction, well that’s a great feeling.”
Cinema Blend also ran a report on Wreck It Ralph’s success that was subtitled, “Bad weekend for bad kung fu,” referring to RZA’s silly looking martial arts movie The Man With the Iron Fists. Fists came in fourth place behind Robert Zemeckis’s Flight, which got terrific reviews, and Argo, which is still holding in there strong. Just when you weren’t sure if there was still word of mouth for movies these days, it looks like Argo’s indeed been growing from word of mouth, especially considering it didn’t hit the #1 spot until several weeks in.
As it turns out with Wreck It Ralph, whether you love video games or not, Disney, with the guiding hand of John Lasseter at Pixar, delivered an original, terrific family film with a smart original premise. Quite a few reviewers have compared it to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Wrap’s review of the film was headlined, “Arcade-Generation Roger Rabbit Is Worth Every Quarter.”