Moviegoers along the East Coast, after battling Hurricane Sandy a week earlier, returned to theaters in droves over the weekend, pushing the box office up 53 percent above the previous week. It was up 20 percent above the comparable weekend a year ago, when Paramount/Dreamworks Animation's Puss in Boots led with $33.1 million. Heading the list was Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, which captured the family crowd with $49 million, at the high end of analysts' expectations. Paramount's Denzel Washington starrer Flight soared with $24.9 million. With only 1,884 theaters showing it, it produced the highest per-theater average of any film in wide release -- $13,217. Effusive word-of-mouth kept Warner Bros.' Argo among the top three in its fourth week with $10.2 million, down just 15 percent from last weekend. Universal's low-budget The Man with the Iron Fists opened in fourth place with $7.9 million, in line with original expectations but down considerably from the studio's weekend estimate. In its sixth week, 20th Century Fox's Taken 2 dropped a modest 23 percent as it collected $5.9 million and brought its domestic total to $125.6 million.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):
1. Wreck-It Ralph. Disney, $49,038,712, (New); 2. Flight, Paramount, $24,900,566, (New); 3. Argo, Warner Bros., $10,209,103, 4 Wks. ($75,860,240); 4 . The Man with the Iron Fists, Universal, $7,910,980, (New); 5. Taken 2, Fox, $5,919,493, 5 Wks. ($125,586,929); 6. Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros., $5,379,314, 2 Wks. ($18,391,743); 7. Hotel Transylvania, Sony/Columbia, $4,409,785, 6 Wks. ($137,477,403); 8. Paranormal Activity 4, Paramount , $4,25,2468, 3 Wks. ($49,529,682); 9. Here Comes the Boom, Sony/Columbia, $3,528,143, 4 Wks. ($35,500,223); 10. Silent Hill: Revelation, Open Road Films, $3,285,113, 2 Wks. ($13,880,270).