Hotel Transylvania A Monster Animation Success, Sucks Up $43M

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Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia

Talk about a mon­ster movie!

Ani­mated 3-D fam­ily film Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia debuted over the week­end at the top of the United States and Cana­dian box office with $43 mil­lion, set­ting an all-time record for a Sep­tem­ber open­ing of a movie.

Fea­tur­ing the voices of Adam San­dler and Selena Gomez, the hotel opened way ahead of live-action sci­ence fic­tion flick Looper, which col­lected $21.2 mil­lion between Fri­day and Sun­day for sec­ond place.

Strong results for both movies helped res­ur­rect a box office that has slowed over sev­eral weekd.

Domes­tic grosses for Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia were way ahead of dis­trib­u­tor Sony Corporation’s pre­dic­tion for at least $25 mil­lion in North Amer­ica. Another $8.1 mil­lion was made over­seas for a global open­ing of $51.1 million.

It’s absolutely an incred­i­ble result,” said Rory Bruer, pres­i­dent of world­wide dis­tri­b­u­tion for the Sony Pic­tures stu­dio. He said that the stu­dio had hoped for a gross around $30 mil­lion. Even that, he observed, “in this mar­ket would have been extraordinary.”

Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia cost $85 mil­lion to produce.

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion pre­miered Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia at 1,700 venues over­seas. It opened at No. 1 in Mex­ico, con­tribut­ing $3.6 mil­lion from 525 screens. In Aus­tralia, it opened at No. 3, bring­ing in $2.2 mil­lion from 465 locations.

The movie’s open­ing North Amer­i­can gross was far ahead of the pre­vi­ous Sep­tem­ber record-holder, Sweet Home Alabama, which debuted at $35.65 mil­lion a decade ago. How­ever, con­sid­er­ing the higher ticket prices these days, Sweet Home Alabama sold more tickets.

As well, Sony dis­trib­uted live-action time-travel tale Looper, star­ring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt.

Sony really kind of saved the day here, turn­ing things around after a full month of less-than-stellar box office,” said ana­lyst Paul Der­garabe­dian. “The post-summer period didn’t exactly set the world on fire.”

Sony was able to dis­trib­ute two movies that didn’t have over­lap­ping audi­ences. That enabled it to take the step — unusual for a sin­gle stu­dio — of open­ing two wide releases on the same weekend.

Fox’s Ice Age: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift opened in Italy this week­end, gross­ing an enor­mous $7.8 mil­lion at 906 the­aters. Over­all, the series entry made $8.7 mil­lion at 1,055 loca­tions sites in four coun­tries abroad. The fam­ily film sequel has made a cumu­la­tive for­eign total of $693.9 mil­lion, thus becom­ing the highest-grossing ani­mated movie ever released overseas.

Even after 17 weeks abroad, Dream­Works Animation’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is still gen­er­at­ing money. Over the week­end, it made $6.1 mil­lion at 1,514 loca­tions in 28 for­eign coun­tries. Over­seas, it’s made a total of $422.7 mil­lion, with open­ings in Ger­many and Aus­tria sched­uled this week.

Pixar’s Brave made $5.2 mil­lion in this, its 15th over­seas week­end, in 55 coun­tries. The total for­eign gross now stands at $281.9 million.

Dis­trib­uted abroad by Uni­ver­sal, Laika Entertainment’s Para­Nor­man col­lected $2.3 mil­lion at 1,900 venues in 36 coun­tries for a for­eign total of $32.4 million.

[Via Reuters —–sector.html, Asso­ci­ated Press —–finance.html, The Hol­ly­wood]

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