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Wreck-It Ralph sets US box office record as Flight also soars

Wreck It Ralph

Story by Jack Foley

ANIMATED comedy Wreck-It Ralph has opened at the top of the US box office and set a new record for Disney.

The film took $49.1 million, the top weekend debut for a Disney Animation Studios title ahead of Tangled, which took $48.8 million in 2010.

Commenting on the figures, Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis said: “For a company whose foundation was built on animation, it’s a pretty incredible thing to have Tangled and now Wreck-It Ralph do such great business.

“It is a testament to the story-telling, and it’s about connecting with both families and adults.”

Wreck-It Ralph follows the story of an arcade game villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) who is sick of playing the bad guy and begins game jumping, which is against the rules.

Also performing well over the weekend was Denzel Washington’s Flight, which took $25 million to land second spot.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the film follows the story of an airline pilot who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. Initially hailed a hero, the pilot eventually suffers a fall from grace as more is learned about who or what was really at fault.

Washington is seen as a safe bet to land a best actor nomination at next year’s Oscars.

Elsewhere at the US box office, awards rival Argo continued to be a crowd pleaser, grossing $10.2 million to take third spot (and earn $75.9 million in the US), while kung fu epic The Man With The Iron Fists – starring Russell Crowe – opened to $8.2 million to take fourth.

The film, which cost just $15 million to produce, marks the directorial debut of RZA.

Rounding out the top five, meanwhile, was Liam Neeson’s Taken 2, which continued to prosper in its fifth weekend, grossing $6 million. The film has now earned $125.7 million in the US and $343.4 million world-wide.

Big-budget epic Cloud Atlas continued to struggle, though, slipping to sixth with just $5.3 million.

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