In the first bright spot following a dismal summer season for Hollywood, animated family film “Hotel Transylvania” took in $43 million at the box office, according to early studio estimates, earning the top spot among a weekend of several new releases.
The film, from Sony Corp. 6758.TO +2.07%’s Sony Pictures Animation, had the biggest opening since “The Dark Knight Rises,” and took the title of the biggest September opening of all time. “Hotel Transylvania,” about a high-end resort for monsters, operated by Dracula, features the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg and Kevin James.
“Hotel Transylvania” also scored the biggest opening ever for Sony’s animation unit, besting “The Smurfs,” which captured that prize with its $35.6 million opening during the summer of 2011.
As expected, the film’s success was driven by families, which comprised 76% of the audience.
Sony enjoyed a strong weekend, as R-rated science-fiction thriller “Looper,” from the company’s TriStar division, along with Film District, took second place at the box office with $21.1 million in its first weekend in theaters. Featuring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a time-travel action plot directed by Rian Johnson, “Looper” played well with men, who made up 59% of the audience, as well as with adult moviegoers, with 70% of the audience age 25 or above.
In the third spot was “End of Watch,” from Open Road Films, which earned $8 million in its second week in theaters, bringing its cumulative grosses to $26.2 million, followed by “Trouble with the Curve,” the Clint Eastwood vehicle from Time Warner Inc.’s TWX +0.36% Warner Bros. Pictures, which took in $7.5 million, bringing its cumulative grosses to $23.7 million.
“House at the End of the Street,” distributed by Relativity Media LLC, rounded out the top five, earning $7.2 million in its second week in theaters.
But it was “Pitch Perfect,” in sixth place, that displayed the most momentum.
Opening in limited release in 335 theaters, the $17 million musical comedy from Comcast Corp.’s CMCSA -0.57% Universal Pictures grossed $5.2 million in its first weekend to earn a per-screen average of $15,560, positioning it for potentially big business when it expands to nearly 2800 theaters Oct. 5.