November at the movies is off to a very healthy start.
Disney’s new videogame-themed animation Wreck-It Ralph is going for the box office high score. The $165 million family film grossed a strong $13.4 million on Friday, which puts it on pace for a weekend between $45 and $50 million, and more importantly, sets up the film to play well through the lucrative Thanksgiving frame.
The Denzel Washington vehicle Flight took off in second place on Friday with $8.2 million from just 1,900 theaters — good for a robust $4,301 per theater average after just one day. Flight‘s Friday gross is slightly ahead of Washington’s 2010 thriller Unstoppable, which started with $8.0 million on the way to a $22.7 million weekend, and it’s a full 39 percent bigger than Argo‘s $5.9 million first Friday. Flight may soar to $25 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period.
The RZA-directed, Quentin Tarantino-produced martial arts picture The Man with the Iron Fists started in third place with $3.0 million. Universal’s $15 million experiment likely won’t hold up especially well over the coming days, as fanboys tend to rush to the theater on opening night, and it may have to settle for a $8 million frame.
Two holdovers rounded out the Top 5. Argo dipped 24 percent from last Friday to $3.0 million, and it may earn $10.5 million through Sunday. And Taken 2 , now in its fourth weekend, added another $1.8 million, It may earn about $5.5 million for the weekend.
1. Wreck-It Ralph – $13.4 million
2. Flight – $8.2 million
3. The Man with the Iron Fists – $3.0 million
4. Argo – $3.0 million
5. Taken 2 – $1.8 million
Check back tomorrow for the full box office report, and follow me on Twitter for more analysis and up-to-the-minute updates: Follow @EWGradySmith