Three years after Sony’s animated hit Hotel Transylvania set a new September record with its $42.5 million opening, the sequel has arrived. And unlike last weekend’s box office headlines, which highlighted the inability of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials to match its predecessor’s debut, Hotel Transylvania 2 is one sequel with the potential to match or even surpass its progenitor.
Like the first film, Hotel Transylvania 2 stars the voices of Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg and carries a family-friendly PG rating. From 3,754 locations, the sequel earned an estimated $13.25 million on Friday. That’s 20% more than Hotel Transylvania earned on its own opening day and indicates a weekend gross of at least $46 million. That would not only beat most early predictions, which ranged from $35 to $38 million, it would also set a new box office record for September. There could be no happier outcome for Sandler and Sony – both buried under the avalanche of negative press that Pixels generated in July. There is even a chance that Hotel Transylvania 2 will give Sandler a new career-high debut, assuming it tops the $47.6 million of 2006’s The Longest Yard.
Opening in second place is Warner Bros.’ The Intern, which earned an estimated $6.22 million from 3,305 locations. That’s just slightly lower than the $7.1 million that director Nancy Meyers last feature film, It’s Complicated, earned on its first day (Christmas) in 2009. Starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro, The Intern was projected to open with $15 million this weekend. It now looks like the comedy will beat expectations and come in closer to $18 million through Sunday.
Friday’s third new release did not make it into the top five, nor was it expected to. The long-delayed cannibal horror pic The Green Inferno, directed by Eli Roth and released by Jason Blum’s BH Tilt and High Top Releasing, earned an estimated $1.47 million from 1,540 screens yesterday. That indicates a weekend gross of $4 million, or on the low end of pre-release expectations.
Last weekend Universal made news by premiering Everest in 545 IMAX and premium large format locations. The disaster epic earned $47.2 million for an excellent per-screen average of $13,251. On the film’s first official day in nationwide release, the outcome was a little less impressive. From 3,006 locations, Everest earned an estimated $4 million – compared to the $2.3 million it claimed in its limited run one week ago. Through Sunday, Universal is expecting to add another $13 million to the film’s total.
Here’s Friday’s top five, based on studio estimates. We’ll have complete details on the weekend box office tomorrow.
|1.||Hotel Transylvania 2||$13,250,000||$13.25|
|3.||Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials||$4,115,000||$41.8|