‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ continues legacy of successful animated sequels

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office Report- Hotel Transylvania 2 is a hit.

This weekend America went gaga for Frankie the First’s big trip to the East Coast: It was pope this, pope that, pope coloring books and modest Fiats as far as the media’s eye could see.PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The animated comedy sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, scared up more than enough business over the weekend – an estimated $48-million — to take the box office crown. The PG-rated animated pic earned a robust $47.5 million (Dh174.4 million) in its debut weekend, making it the top September opener of all time, according to Rentrak estimates on Sunday. “It really is something the whole family can agree to see. Maybe that’s why the North American box office rocketed into the stratosphere, 30 percent above this same weekend back in 2014 — nothing to sniff at considering Denzel himself was having one of his best debuts ever back then.

Rounding out the top five was Black Mass, with Johnny Depp, with $12-million, while the new action thriller, Sicario, with Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, was tenth with under $2-million. This year, Hollywood can thank an unlikely trinity — the Lord of the Night, Whitey Bulger, and Nancy Meyers — for filling its coffers with cold, hard coin. The inverted Devil Wears Prada did $18.2 million and is another success for comedy director Nancy Meyers, who was behind everything from What Women Want to It’s Complicated.

Significantly, 55 per cent were over 50-years-old — an audience that doesn’t typically rush out to see films on opening weekend. “Nancy Meyers is her own brand and I think that automatically accesses an audience who looks at it and thinks ‘this is a movie I want to see,’” said Jeff Goldstein, an executive vice-president at Warner Bros, of the veteran filmmaker known for films like It’s Complicated. Given the fact that it was heavily targeted to the higher ticket price of 3D and IMAX it could still have some legs, but there are other big scale movies like The Martian and The Walk looking for those mega screens in the weeks ahead. We’ve catalogued Sandler’s steep descent into the bleakest depths of box office oblivion for so long that I’d almost pre-written his obituary for this weekend. But never underestimate the power of animated kiddie movies — and when you mix them with vampires, you’ve got the kind of franchise that just won’t die, despite all the critical stakes rammed through its heart. Black Mass was at 5 with $11.5 million and The Visit on its third week of release pulled down $6.750 million – almost 2 mill over it’s alarmingly low production budget, bringing its worldwide total to over $60 million.

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. 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. 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.

And while Sandler’s fingerprints are all over the film, his face isn’t what’s front and center on the poster, so this doesn’t count as total exoneration for Happy Gilmore. It’s release was long delayed but it seems to have been worth the wait – scoring $3.49 million at a large number of theatres which had been hand picked by the distributor as likely to draw genre crowds. The original Transylvania made $358 million worldwide, and this was an expected hit; anything less and we really might have heard the last of Sandler. For the moment it’s nothing more than a nice reprieve from his extended cold streak, a temporary life vest keeping the erstwhile megastar’s head above the water of Hollywood irrelevance. Now, there’s no need to send the Sherpa back down the mountain for help, but given how well Everest did last weekend, Universal can feel the frostbite setting in, especially since it’s going to lose a huge hunk of those rainmaking IMAX theaters to The Walk this Wednesday.

And it doesn’t help to have Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer calling the film “total bull.” But yet again, international saves the day: With $73.7 million coming from abroad, Everest has a 10-day worldwide total of $96.8 million — so the $55 million film isn’t exactly slipping down a snow-filled chasm. However, in line with the slow extinction of mid-budget movies, The Intern’s $40 million budget marks a significant decrease from the heady days of 2009, when Meyers had $85 million to make It’s Complicated. Although not a Donner Party–level disaster, Eli Roth’s cannibal opus The Green Inferno pulls a loser card this weekend for its tame $3.5 million opening in 1,540 theaters, proving yet again that films put on the shelf don’t age like wine.

Though Inferno made its premiere more than two years ago at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, a truly gruesome squabble over marketing costs kept it from opening back in September 2014, so this release was something of a salvage operation: a modest, targeted theatrical opening intended to boost its revenues beyond what it would make if it went the VOD-only route. So there wasn’t a lot of money behind it — and yes, the distributor was none other than the King of Cost Consciousness Jason Blum, whose new label BH Tilt released the film.

Emily Blunt continues to set the arthouse on fire: After a stellar showing last weekend in just six locations, Sicario tunneled into a few more theaters — 59 total, to be exact — and still smuggled away $1.77 million, good enough for 10th place. That’s a $30,000 per-theater average in its second weekend; by way of comparison, housing-crisis drama 99 Homes debuted nicely with $32,807 in two theaters, while Sundance darling Mississippi Grind made $14,355 in one New York theater — although that one’s also available on DirecTV. Unfortunately, the arthouse also coughed up the weekend’s one bona fide failure: the much-maligned, whitewashing Stonewall earned a sad $112,414 in 129 theaters — or, if you really want to grimace, an $871 average per theater.

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