Box Office: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ breaks September record with $47.5 million …

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ bites off September record.

September has a new box office star in “Hotel Transylvania 2.” The PG-rated animated pic earned a robust $47.5 million in its debut weekend, making it the top September opener of all time, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday. “It really is something the whole family can agree to see. The previous record holder was ‘‘Hotel Transylvania’’ which opened with $42.5 million in 2012. ‘‘The Intern,’’ a PG-13-rated workplace comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, took second with $18.2 million. ‘‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’’ came in third with $14 million. The 49-year-old star voices Dracula in the sequel to the 2012 animated hit, which delivered a studio-reported $67.7 million opening and is on track to set a new record for a September opening, according to Deadline.com. Coming off a bumpy end to 2014, Sony had a long dry spell at the box office this year with Sandler’s beleaguered video game-focused film Pixels among several disappointments.

The children’s movie features a voice cast that includes Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, and its strong opening is a much-needed boost for its studio, Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures Entertainment. “The Intern,” released by Time Warner Inc. It could also become Sandler’s best opening in 10 years, making it his second-highest grossing movie ever after 2005’s football comedy The Longest Yard. For director Nancy Meyers, it’s an opening in the midrange of recent releases—not quite matching 2009’s “It’s Complicated” ($22.1 million) but outperforming 2006’s “The Holiday” ($12.8 million). The Peter Pan origins story opened in Australia two weeks ahead of its North American launch in order to take advantage of school holidays, earning $1.5 million.

In fact his last four films including Blended, Men, Women & Children, and the direct-to-video release The Cobbler were all pretty much dead on arrival. Both movies, however, showed impressive staying power in subsequent weeks. “Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” slipped to third place, bringing its two-week total to $51.7 million. “Everest,” about an expedition to scale the world’s highest mountain, expanded in its second week beyond IMAX Corp. In the U.S., Transylvania 2, voiced by Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and Keegan-Michael Key, earned a promising A- CinemaScore and, in another record, is the best start ever for an SPA title. The fact-based adventure film opened only on IMAX and premium large format 3D screens last weekend. “It’s very difficult to know where a film is going to land when there’s no good comp for it.

Not only that, but with 2015 films like Inside Out ($775 million worldwide) and Minions ($1.1 billion worldwide) continuing to dominate at the global box office, it’s clear that whatever impact increasingly competitive home theater set-ups are having on the multiplex, the world of animation remains relatively unscathed. Analysts hadn’t expected “Hotel Transylvania 2” to open higher than its predecessor did. “I think we surprised ourselves,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, pointing to the movie’s broad appeal. “It’s serving the entire family.” The movie had a budget of about $80 million. You can call it an experiment if you will,” said Nick Carpou, who heads Universal’s domestic distribution. “When you add the two weekends together and the mid-weeks in between, sitting here at $23 million feels really good.” “It’s really crowded out there,” Dergarabedian said.

That’s a solid swing for the filmmaker and Warner Bros., considering Meyers’ films target older adults, who don’t rush out on opening weekend but tend to deliver a long run. “This is a terrific result, and Nancy Meyers really is a brand,” said Warner Bros. executive vp domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein, adding that the $40 million movie played well in every part of the country. In other box-office news, “The Green Inferno,” a low-budget horror feature about a group of student travelers who find themselves held captive by a cannibalistic tribe, failed to burn up too many ticket sales. As for Sony, with positive advance buzz on Goosebumps and the latest Bond installment, Spectre, right around the corner, they might still make it out of 2015 in good shape.

The Intern, starring Hathaway as a young executive who hires an older man to be her intern, skewed female as expected (62 percent in North America), while 55 percent of the audience was over the age of 50. Also, with a solid A CinemaScore, word of mouth should be strong in the coming weeks, despite the direct competition of next week’s “The Walk,” another vertiginous, event film that will take over IMAX screens. Also opening this weekend was Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, which is being released via Blumhouse’s new label BH Tilt, whose aim is to avoid a big marketing spend by opening genre fare in targeted theaters. The horror movie, Roth’s first directorial effort in eight years, grossed a meek $3.5 million to come in No. 9, versus the $4 million-$5 million the filmmakers were hoping for. “Eli made a terrifying movie for die-hard horror fans that we were proud to have as the first release in our targeting experiment.

We tried something new, got close to our goal and are excited to analyze the results and apply what we learn to the next movies under this model,” said John Hegeman, who oversaw the marketing campaign for BH Tilt. Internationally, Scorch Trials zoomed past the $100 million mark, earning $28.4 million from 70 territories for a foreign total of $121.8 million and global cume of $173.5 million. At the specialty box office, Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed crime-thriller Sicario continued to score as it expanded into a total of 59 theaters in its sophomore outing. The historical drama was a passion project for the openly gay director, and recounts the events surrounding the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a bloody standoff with police outside a Greenwich Village gay bar that is widely credited with kicking off the modern gay-rights movement.

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