Sony Animation’s “Hotel Transylvania 2” booked a weekend box office victory with a $13.2 million Friday haul, and the kids movie will shatter the record for a September opening with a three-day total that could hit a monster $46 million.
The mature-skewing Robert De Niro-Anne Hathaway comedy “The Intern” was heading for second place and an opening in the high-teen millions for Warner Bros. Universal’s mountain climbing saga “Everest” was looking at $12 million and fourth place in its expansion, trailing defending champ “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” which was third and on a $14 million pace for Fox. The Eli Roth-directed low-budget horror film “The Green Inferno” appears headed for a debut between $3 million and $4 million and the R-rated Lionsgate thriller “Sicario” cracked the top 10 while playing in just 59 theaters in its second-week expansion.
That big start for the PG-rated “Hotel Translyvania 2,” which skipped Thursday night previews and received an “A-” CinemaScore, is very positive news for Adam Sandler and Sony Pictures, both of which could use some.
Sandler’s voice work as Count Dracula in “Hotel Transylvania 2” has become the best thing the comedian, last seen on the big screen in Sony’s underwhelming “Pixels” this summer, has going for him at the box office. The sequel is pacing to outperform the original “Hotel Transylvania,” a sleeper hit which currently holds the record for a September bow with $42 million on this same weekend in 2012, and is Sandler’s highest-grossing film ever by a wide margin with $347 million globally.
“Hotel Transylvania 2” will also give Sony, which has struggled to regain its footing since last fall’s massive computer hack, its third weekend win in the last month. Films from two of the studio’s specialty labels, Affirm Films’ faith-based “War Room” and Screen Gems’ thriller “The Perfect Guy,” both claimed earlier victories.
“Sicario,” the drug war thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin had the top per-screen average at $9,335 after taking in $559,000 from 59 locations, up from six in its debut last weekend.
“Everest” took in $4 million and averaged $1,335 in 3,006 theaters after debuting to $7.2 million in an unusual exclusive 545-theater IMAX and Premium Large Format run last week.
“Hotel Transylvania 2” averaged a second-best $3,530 from its 3,574 locations, while the Nancy Meyers-directed “The Intern” averaged $1,870 in 3,305 theaters after taking in $6.1 million Friday, and garnered an “A-” CinemaScore.
The $4 million that “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” earned was a steep 63-percent drop from its first week and it averaged $1,070 on its market-high 3,754 locations.
Johnny Depp‘s mob drama “Black Mass,” which was No. 1 at the box office from Monday to Thursday, dropped 60 percent from its debut last week to $3.4 million and averaged $1,090 in its 3,188 locations for Warner Bros.
The R-rated cannibal tale “The Green Inferno,” which is the first film distributed by Blumhouse Productions’ Tilt label, received a “C-” CinemaScore from typically tough-grading horror fans.