‘Transylvania 2′ pulls in monster box office

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ estimated to mint $45 mn.

“Hotel Transylvania 2” easily topped the weekend box office, sinking its teeth into an impressive $47.5 million, and providing a big win for star Adam Sandler and Sony Pictures, the studio behind the animated franchise.Fueled by families hungry for kid-friendly fare, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 2 bit off the top September opening of all time with a North American debut of $47.5 million.

Columbia Pictures’ sequel to the 2012 original features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg and Kevin James, and has been projected to bring in $32 million to $37 million during its opening weekend, with some industry estimates running as high as $45.5 million. It hasn’t fared well with critics, however, and one of the more generous reviews came from Charles Solomon, writing for The Times, who called it “more sentimental and less raunchy” than the original, while suggesting that Genndy Tartakovsky “is a talented director [who] deserves a more interesting assignment than trying to wring laughs out of bodily function jokes.” The first “Hotel Transylvania” brought in $43 million on its first weekend. A Sony pictures production, the sequel of “Hotel Transylvania” is estimated to rake in $45 million as opposed to the maiden film which incurred $42 million in 2012. Sandler, once among the most consistently commercial leading men in Hollywood, has suffered a series of flops like “Blended,” “That’s My Boy,” and “Jack and Jill” that have inspired questions about his bankability. Director Nancy Meyers’ comedy The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, opened in the No. 2 slot with $18.2 million from 3,305 theaters.

Industry analysts had noted strong competition the sequel might be facing from “The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.” But the family–friendly flick swooped past “The Scorch Trials,” which landed at No. 3 with a Friday estimate of $4.1 million, and easily sailed ahead of Warner Bros.’ “The Intern,” which took in an estimated $6.2 million out of the gate to place second. And Sony, which had its inner workings laid bare in last year’s hack attack by North Korea, was subjected to a summer that saw films like “Aloha” and Sandler’s video game “Pixels” rejected by audiences. 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 of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein, adding that the movie played well in every part of the country.

The big weekend for “Hotel” will set a new record for a September opening, as well as a new record for Sony Pictures Animation’s best opening ever. The Robert DeNiro-Anne Hathaway romantic comedy “The Intern” has drawn mixed reviews, scoring a 54 out of 100 on the review aggregation website Metacritic.com. It has been on the upswing in recent weeks, fielding modest hits like “War Room” and “The Perfect Guy,” but this is the studio’s biggest opening since “22 Jump Street” debuted to $57 million in June of 2014. Elsewhere, Baltasar Kormakur’s Everest came in behind expectations with $13.1 million from 3,006 theaters as it expanded nationwide after a limited 3D engagement last weekend in Imax and premium large-format theaters.

Everest, loosely based on the real tale of two climbing expeditions left stranded high atop the world’s largest mountain in 1996, is a bigger player overseas, where it took in another $33.8 million this weekend from 62 markets for a foreign tally of $73.7 million and global total of $96.8 million for Universal Pictures, Working Title, Cross Creek Pictures and Walden Media. That figure is something of a disappointment given the A CinemaScore the film earned in limited release and the solid $7.2 million it generated in its inaugural weekend. Also opening this weekend was Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, which is being released via Blumhouse’s new label BH Tilt, which hopes to avoid a big marketing spend by opening genre fare in targeted theaters.

The film, 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. Eli Roths’ buzzy horror release “The Green Inferno” bowed to $1.5 million from 1,540 locations Friday, which indicates a weekend total between $3-4 million. That opening puts it in line with previous Meyers’ releases such as “Something’s Gotta Give” ($16.1 million debut) and “The Holiday” ($12.8 million start).

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. Johnny Depp’s Black Mass, rounding out the top five, dipped 49 percent in its second outing to $11.5 million for a 10-day North American cume of $42.6 million. The horror producer‘s company Blumhouse limited the number of locations where the picture screened and leaned heavily on digital marketing to keep costs low. It will try a similar experiment with two more upcoming releases, including “Delirium,” a supernatural thriller with Topher Grace and Patricia Clarkson.

A week after scoring the biggest per-screen average of the year, the drug war thriller moved from six to 59 theaters, cracking the box office top ten with $680,591. Bleecker Street’s “Pawn Sacrifice,” a look at troubled chess great Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire), broadened its theatrical footprint from 33 to 781 locations, earning $1.1 million.

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