BOX OFFICE: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ sets Disney record with $49M debut

“WRECK-IT RALPH, like its videogame title character, hammered all comers this weekend, setting a record for an animated Disney opening.

“Ralph” grossed $49.1 million in its domestic debut to win the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. If that total holds Monday, the new film will have topped Disney’s previous record setter, 2010’s “Tangled” ($48.76-million debut).

“Wreck-It Ralph” — which on Friday became one of 21 films up for the feature animation Oscar — opened on more than 3,700 screens, as many theaters reopened in the Northeast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.


BIG-TIME SUGAR RUSH: Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) meets Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) in "Wreck-It Ralph.” (Disney/AP)

The CGI film — featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch — plumbs the nostalgia for ’80s 8-bit arcade games while also nodding to modern high-def games like “Halo.”

[RISING STAR: “Wreck-It Ralph” shines light on talents of Daniel Kruse]

“Ralph” nearly lapped the second-place film, the new “Flight” (featuring Denzel Washington’s critically acclaimed performance), which grossed $25 million; the hostage thriller “Argo” stayed strong to finish third ($10.2 million); and RZA’s new “Man With the Iron Fists” was fourth ($8.2 million).

FUN WITH NUMBERS

■ “Wreck-It Ralph” had the 21st biggest opening ever for an animated film. The top-2 debuts were by Paramount/DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek the Third” ($121.6 million) and “Toy Story 3” ($110.3 million) from Pixar, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista.

■ Paced by “Toy Story 3,” Disney/Buena Vista now is responsible for half of the top 22 animated-film openings ever, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

■ As one barometer of “Wreck-It Ralph’s” potential success: “Tangled” went on to gross $200.8 million domestically and $590.7 million worldwide.

■ Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania” — which grossed $4.5 million domestically this weekend — is now among the top-50 animated films ever ($137.5 million).

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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