The box office got a much-need jolt this weekend thanks to ‘Hotel Transylvania’, which raked in $43 million over the weekend and managed to set three records in the process. Not only does it now hold the record for best opening ever in the month of September, beating out the $35.6 million record set by ‘Sweet Home Alabama’; it’s also the second-highest debut for Adam Sandler (behind 2005’s ‘The Longest Yard’) and the best debut ever for Sony Pictures Animation, beating out even ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’.
It’s a return to form for the Sandler brand, which is at its best delivering off-the-wall family comedy; if Sandler sticks with this genre and avoids the R-rated groan-inducing scripts of ‘That’s My Boy’, he should rocket back up the charts in no time.
In second place, ‘Looper’ pulled in a decent $21.2 million. The movie has been generating awesome word of mouth, but it’s tough to sell an original R-rated sci-fi flick, especially one with as twisty of a plot as ‘Looper’. It could have a fairly strong hold through the beginning of October, though it will face competition from ‘Taken 2’.
Last week’s number one film ‘End of Watch’ slipped to third place with just $8 million, a decent hold for a cop drama. ‘Trouble With the Curve’ dropped to fourth place with $7.53 million.
‘House at the End of the Street’ rounded out the top five with $7.2 million, posting a second-weekend drop of 41.8%. That’s a good hold for a horror movie, and it’ll probably continue to pull in a modest amount of theatre-goers as we enter October and fans turn out for their Halloween horror fix.
Two other new openings did not make the top five this week. The musical comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’ debuted in sixth place with $5.2 million, but that wasn’t nearly as bad as ‘Won’t Back Down’: the Maggie Gyllenhaal-Viola Davis drama debuted in tenth place with just $2.7 million, which is the second-worst debut ever for a movie opening in 2,500+ theatres. Ouch!