‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ To Score Disney’s 12th No. 1 Thanksgiving Weekend

For the 12th time in recorded Thanksgiving box office history (since 1982), Disney will own the holiday stretch again as their sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet looks to hit a five-day of $70M. Among 5-day Thanksgiving wide openings in U.S./Canada, Ralph Breaks the Internet should rank as the fifth best, potentially upsetting Tangled which made $68.7M from Wednesday to Sunday.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” might look like just another adorable, funny animated family film, but it also connects to our current reality in ways that are downright bone-chilling. This sequel to the 2012 Disney hit “Wreck-It Ralph” — which was set in the virtual world of arcade games, and whose affable lug of a hero was an 8-bit video game villain trying to break free from a lifetime of mindless destruction — sends its protagonists out into the broader internet, where they discover all the pandering, cruelty, addictive behavior and viral shamelessness that we’ve come to associate with online culture.

To raise the funds to purchase the controller (which they’ve accidentally bid up to $27,001 on eBay, since they have almost no idea what money is), Ralph becomes a viral video superstar on a site called BuzzzTube. He is then plagued by message board abuse, as well as the here-today, gone-tomorrow nature of fame in the digital era.

Meanwhile, sweet little Vanellope becomes enraptured by a gritty game called Slaughter Race, which takes place in a wasteland of garbage fires, dancing lowriders, pyromaniacs and sharks. She also at one point finds herself in a corner of the web called Oh My Disney!, where she gets some daffy life advice from a collective of Disney princesses. (It’s a clever bit of synergistic self-deprecation for the studio: Who doesn’t want to see Cinderella break a glass slipper and wield it as a weapon? Or for the Little Mermaid to get excited about finally putting on a T-shirt?)

As Vanellope begins forging her own path, Ralph becomes obsessed with trying to salvage their once-inseparable friendship, which makes him easy prey for the internet’s ability to feed on one’s insecurities — all our “needy, clingy, self-destructive tendencies.” And somewhere amid the film’s ornate imagery and deliriously irreverent humor, we might begin to realize that we’re watching a terrifying, incisive satire about the ways that a life lived online makes monsters of us all.

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