- Sequel to 2012 film sets September debut box-office record
- De Niro film ``The Intern'' places second with $18.2 million
Sony Corp.’s feature “Hotel Transylvania 2,” a sequel to the vampire-themed 2012 original, set a box-office record for a September debut weekend, outdrawing two other new movies.
The family film, which features the voices of Adam Sandler and pop star Selena Gomez, brought in $47.5 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. “The Intern,” which stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, came in second, while “The Green Inferno” opened in ninth place.
With “Hotel Transylvania 2,” Sony Pictures repeated the success of its first film, profiting from a dearth of family movies at theaters. Back in 2012, the original film set a September record with a $42.5 million first weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. The picture also marks a return to form for its star voice, Sandler, who has struggled in recent outings.
“It’s one of those franchises that kind of flew under the radar; it didn’t have the big push a summer blockbuster has,” Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, said in a telephone interview. “Sometimes finding a hole in the schedule and filling it with a family or animated film makes all the difference. Families are a huge part of the audience.”
In the latest installment, Dracula relaxes his monster-only hotel policy, opening the doors to human guests. But he worries that his half-human grandson Dennis doesn’t look enough like a vampire. So “Vampa” Drac puts Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp.
The film garnered 46 percent positive reviews, according to aggregator Rottentomatoes.com. It was forecast to collect $38 million in its debut, according to BoxOfficeGuru.com. The original scored 44 percent on RottenTomatoes and earned $148.3 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.
“The Intern” features De Niro as a 70-year-old widower, Ben Whittaker, who is bored of retirement and becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site run by Jules Ostin, played by Hathaway. The romantic comedy generated $18.2 million at the North American box office in its debut, beating the BoxOfficeGuru estimate of $14 million. It garnered 56 percent positive based on critics’ reviews aggregated by Rottentomatoes.com. “The Intern” was written and directed by rom-com specialist Nancy Meyers and distributed by Warner Bros.
The weekend’s third new release, “The Green Inferno,” is an R-rated horror film from director Eli Roth, distributed by High Top Releasing. It collected $3.5 million against a forecast of $4 million from BoxOfficeGuru. The picture, which earned a 38 percent score on Rottentomatoes.com, tracks a group of student activists who travel to the Amazon to save the rain forest and discover that they are not alone.
A film festival entry, “Everest,” widened to more than 3,000 theaters after a limited run last weekend. Jason Clarke plays Rob Hall, who operates a mountain climbing company that takes tourists to the top of Mount Everest. He takes a risk to help the climbers reach their goal. A crowded mountain, weather and fatigue lead to disaster and a battle for survival. Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin also feature.
The movie, based on a true story, added $13.1 million to its domestic total, placing fourth for Universal Pictures. It had been predicted to place second and collect $16 million this week. It had a budget of $55 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
Weekend sales for the top 10 films rose 30 percent to $125.4 million from a year earlier, Rentrak said. Sales for the year to date have increased 6.5 percent to $8.18 billion.
The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on actual ticket sales for Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, with estimates for Sunday.
Rev. Pct. Avg./ Total
Movie (mln) Chg. Theaters Theater (mln) Wks
1. Hotel Transylvania 2 47.5 -- 3,754 12,653 47.5 1
2. Intern, The 18.2 -- 3,305 5,514 18.2 1
3. The Scorch Trials 14.0 -54 3,792 3,692 51.7 2
4. Everest 13.1 81 3,006 4,355 23.1 2
5. Black Mass 11.5 -49 3,188 3,610 42.6 2
6. Visit, The 6.7 -42 2,967 2,275 52.3 3
7. Perfect Guy, The 4.8 -51 1,889 2,515 48.9 3
8. War Room 4.3 -31 1,920 2,227 56.0 5
9. Green Inferno, The 3.5 -- 1,540 2,273 3.5 1
10. Sicario 1.8 341 59 30,000 2.4 2
Top 10 Films Grosses
This Wknd Year Ago Pct.
(mln) (mln) Chg.
$125.4 $96.1 30.4
YTD YTD Pct.
(mln) (mln) Chg.
$8,175 $7,679 6.5
Source: Rentrak Corp.