First of all, keep in mind that, because of Hurricane Sandy, the box office totals for this weekend are somewhat lower overall. Having said that, not surprisingly, Disney's animated film Wreck-It-Ralph lead the field with $49 million.
Robert Zemeckis’ and Denzel Washington’s Flight performed strongly, coming in second, with $25 million, opening in half the numbers of theaters as Ralph – 1900 screens compared to over 3700 screens for Ralph – an even more impressive number, considering the film’s rather low $31 million production cost, when one takes into account the talent involved with the film.
Because of the R-rated, serious, adult nature of the Flight, involving addiction, the above-the-line talent, including Zemeckis, Washington and Don Cheadle, took major cuts in their usual salaries, no doubt in exchange for back-end deals, to bring the film in at a reasonable cost.
RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fist's 4th place landing with just over $8 million is a mixed bag. The film was expected to do better, but considering the competitio, and Sandy, it held its own. The film’s very modest $15 million budget will guarantee that it will, at least, make back its production cost, and RZA already has 3 films lined up after Iron Fists, so he’s moving on.
However, the fact that Universal barely screened the film to media, and that was at the very last minute, was a clear indication that the studio didn't have a lot of confidence in the film
And in international news the new James Bond film Skyfall (which is without question one of the best Bond films ever with a fantastic performace by Javier Bardem as the villian) and which doesn't open here in the U.S. until this Firday has already grossed an amazing $287 million ($156 million of that just this weekend alone) in just the first ten days in overseas markets.
On the indie front, the hurricane took its toll on Middle of Nowhere. Accordng to AFFRM’s managing director Tilane Jones, the film was "on far fewer screens in large part due to complications with Sandy," adding that, "MIDDLE OF NOWHERE will return to Chicago, Atlanta and other key markets in our fifth frame next weekend."
The film played this weekend on 8 screens, grossing $16,317, giving it a new total of $192,724.
This weekend's list: