The animated film “Hotel Transylvania,” about a resort for monsters and their families, set a record for a September opening in U.S. and Canadian theaters, bringing in $42.5 million for Sony Corp.
The science-fiction thriller “Looper,” also from Sony, was second in its debut with $20.8 million in ticket sales, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. “Hotel Transylvania” topped analysts’ estimates and overtook the record set by “Sweet Home Alabama” with its $35.7-million debut in 2002.
Sony’s one-two finish will keep the studio in first place in domestic 2012 ticket revenue. Culver City, California-based Sony had $1.28 billion in sales as of Sept. 27, giving it a narrow lead over Time Warner Inc.’s $1.26 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. Sony’s biggest film this year was “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which has generated $261.5 million in domestic sales, according to Mojo.
“Sony really helped the industry this weekend by getting the momentum going,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office, said in an interview. “This was great news for the industry, which has been lacking good news for the last month or so.”
In “Hotel Transylvania,” Dracula hosts a gathering of famous monsters, including Frankenstein, the Mummy and some werewolves to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. The celebration is complicated by the unexpected arrival of a human guest who falls for the vampire’s daughter. The film features the voices of Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Selena Gomez.
The film was expected to have $25.8 million in opening-weekend sales, the estimate of Box Office Mojo.
The time-travel tale “Looper” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hit man working for a mob that operates in the future, when time travel has become possible. To avoid prosecution, the mob sends victims back in time to be killed by a special team of assassins. Gordon-Levitt’s character is tasked with killing his future self. Bruce Willis plays the older version of Levitt’s character. “Looper” was expected to take in $16.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
The police drama “End of Watch” fell to third from first with $7.8 million. The film, from Open Road Pictures, stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as Los Angeles police officers who run afoul of a vicious gang. The film has taken in $26 million since it opened on Sept. 21.
Clint Eastwood’s “Trouble with the Curve” from Warner Bros., was fourth with sales of $7.3 million. In the film, Eastwood plays aging professional baseball scout Gus Lobel, who tries to keep his job while battling failing eyesight and a trend toward computer-based scouting. His daughter, played by Amy Adams, tries to help by accompanying Lobel on an important scouting trip. Justin Timberlake co-stars as a washed-up pitcher who is attracted to the young woman.
“House at the End of the Street,” a horror film from Relativity Media LLC, collected $7.1 million to put it in fifth place in its second weekend. Jennifer Lawrence stars as a teen who learns too much about a double homicide committed years earlier in the house next door. Elisabeth Shue is featured as the girl’s mother.
“Pitch Perfect” from Universal opened in sixth place with $5.1 million. Anna Kendrick stars in the musical comedy as Beca, who upon arriving at college is persuaded to join an all-girls singing group. Dergarabedian called it a “huge” debut given it played in just 335 theaters.
“Finding Nemo 3D” placed seventh, with $4 million for Walt Disney Co. The re-release of the 2003 animated hit is the fifth release in Disney’s plan to re-issue classic films in a three-dimensional format.
Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 19 percent to $106.7 million from the year-earlier period, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have risen 2.6 percent to $8.1 billion, with attendance up 1.4 percent.
The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30.
Rev. Avg./ Pct. Total Movie (mln) Theaters Theater Chg. (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA $42.5 3,349 $12,697 -- $42.5 1 2 LOOPER 20.8 2,992 6,952 -- 20.8 1 3 END OF WATCH 7.8 2,780 2,810 -41 26.0 2 4 TROUBLE WITH CURVE 7.3 3,212 2,266 -40 23.5 2 5 HOUSE AT THE END 7.1 3,083 2,310 -42 22.2 2 6 PITCH PERFECT 5.1 335 15,371 -- 5.1 1 7 FINDING NEMO (3-D) 4.0 2,639 1,529 -58 36.4 3 8 RESIDENT EVIL 3.0 2,381 1,254 -55 38.7 3 9 THE MASTER 2.7 856 3,131 -39 9.6 3 10 WON’T BACK DOWN 2.6 2,515 1,035 -- 2.6 1 11 DREDD (3-D) 2.4 2,557 925 -62 10.9 2 12 THE POSSESSION 1.4 1,618 842 -48 47.4 5
Top 12 Films GrossesThis Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $106.7 $89.6 +19
Year-to-date Revenue2012 2011 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $8,069 $7,867 +2.6 Year-to-date Attendance: 1.4%