Sideshow: Hurricane Sandy's aftermath makes for strong box office

Posted: November 05, 2012

The weekend box office was not only undeterred by the aftermath of Sandy, it was buoyed by it.

Wreck-It Ralph opened strongly with $49.1 million and Robert Zemeckis' Flight, starring Denzel Washington, soared to a $25 million debut. Both opened above expectations, capitalizing on East Coast audiences looking for distraction amid the storm recovery.

Wreck-It Ralph, a 3D animated film about a video-game villain who tries to break free of his role, is the largest box-office opening ever for Walt Disney Animation, which has produced countless cartoon classics (though that does not include Disney's lucrative Pixar Animation).

Though the hurricane had forced the closure of hundreds of movie theaters in New York and New Jersey, most were open for business by the weekend.

With many East Coast children out of school on Friday, Disney had an uptick in business for Friday matinees to the well-reviewed Wreck-It Ralph.

Aside from the draw of Washington, Flight is the first live-action film in 12 years for Zemeckis ( Back to the Future, Cast Away), who spent the last decade on performance-capture animated films like The Polar Express.

The weekend's third-biggest release, Ben Affleck's Iran hostage tale, Argo, in its fourth week, expanded to more theaters and added $10.2 million.

The kung fu flick The Man With the Iron Fists, directed by RZA of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, opened with a debut of $8.2 million.

This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at

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