Monsters have a ball atop the US box office
Family film Hotel Transylvania brought new life to movie box offices with a chart-topping €33 million in US and Canadian ticket sales during the weekend, a record for a September opening.
The animated 3D movie, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez finished ahead of new sci-fi film Looper, which took in €16.5 million from Friday through Sunday.
The police drama End of Watch, which tied with House at the End of the Street for the top spot last week, landed in third place with €6.2 million, according to studio estimates.
In Hotel Transylvania, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man and other monsters gather for a party at a high-end resort operated by Dracula. Their celebration is disrupted when a boy discovers the hotel and falls in love with Dracula’s daughter but must deal with her overprotective father.
The film’s domestic sales far exceeded distributor Sony Corp.’s prediction for €19.4 million-plus from the North American (US and Canadian) market.
The movie added €6.2 million from international markets, for a global debut of €39.6 million.
Hotel Transylvania cost €65.9 million to produce.
Sony also distributed second-place film Looper, a time travel story about a man charged with killing an older version of himself. The movie, starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, earned rave reviews from critics with a 93 per cent positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Sony had predicted ticket sales of up to €15.5 million domestically for Looper. Endgame Entertainment paid for the film’s production.
“To see it open as it did bodes well for how well this movie will play in the future,” said Sony Pictures’ world distribution president Rory Bruer.
Looper, a Chinese co-production, performed especially well in China, where the take was on par with, and could exceed, even the US total, Endgame’s chief executive James Stern said.
“We don’t have the final box office tally” due to a national holiday in China, but the numbers are pointing towards “the very first time in history that China would be the world’s leading market for an international film,” said Stern.
The weekend’s other new film, Won’t Back Down, stars Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal as two determined mothers who try to transform their children’s failing inner city school. The film started off with €2 million over the weekend, in 10th place.
Rounding out the top five, Clint Eastwood’s baseball film Trouble with the Curve scored €5.8 million to take the No. 4 slot.
New comedy Pitch Perfect, about a girls’ singing group, pulled in an impressive $5.2 million in a limited debut on 335 screens for the sixth spot. Universal Studios chose a smaller opening in hopes of generating buzz ahead of a wider release on Friday.