The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.
In a month when only one movie grossed over $20 million in a single three-day weekend, it was only a matter of time before a movie would come along that would get people back into theaters. Who knew that it would be a movie featuring the voice of Adam Sandler?
Sandler provided the voice of Count Dracula in Sony Pictures Animation’s animated comedy Hotel Transylvania, along with the voices of Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon and more. Directed by Cartoon Network vet Genndy Tartakovsky, the movie brought in an estimated $43 million in 3,349 theaters, averaging over $12 thousand per site. It’s the biggest hit for Sony Pictures Animation, surpassing the $31 million opening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs back in 2009 as well as setting a new September opening record, which was previously held by Reese Witherspoon’s Sweet Home Alabama for ten years with $35.6 million. Based on estimates, it’s also Sandler’s second biggest opening after his 2005 remake of The Longest Yard. The movie is Sony’s eighth #1 movie for the year and it pushes them back into the lead in terms of market share.
Sony also worked on the marketing and distribution of filmmaker Rian Johnson’s sci-fi action-thriller Looper (FilmDistrict/Tristar), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, which was a significant hit as well, opening in second place with an estimated $21.2 million in 2,992 theaters, also well above early projections.
As far as last week’s horse race, David Ayer’s police drama End of Watch (Open Road), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, dropped from its #1 slot to third place with an estimated $8 million, having grossed $26.8 million to date.
The Clint Eastwood-Amy Adams baseball drama Trouble with the Curve (Warner Bros.) dropped to fourth place with $7.5 million and a total of $23.7 million.
Fifth place went to the Jennifer Lawrence horror thriller House at the End of the Street (Relativity), which brought in $7.1 million to bring its total to $22 million.
Universal Pictures took another big gamble by giving their a capella comedy Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, a limited release into 335 theaters a week before its wide release. It ended up paying off as it brought in $5.2 million in its opening weekend to take sixth place with a $15.5 thousand per site average, which was even better than the showing for Hotel Transylvania. On Friday, the movie expands into over 2,800 theaters where it hopes to build on what’s expected to be solid word-of-mouth with an astounding A+ CinemaScore among women under 25.
Finding Nemo 3D (DisneyPixar) took seventh place with $4 million, down 58% from last weekend, with a total of $36.5 million.
Paul W.S. Anderson’s action 4-quel Resident Evil: Retribution (Screen Gems) dropped to eighth place with $3 million, right ahead of his namesake Paul Thomas Anderson’s critically-acclaimed drama The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, with $2.7 million. The former has grossed $38.7 million to the latter’s $9.6 million.
In one of the biggest “OUCH!” moments of the weekend, and maybe even the year, the inspirational drama Won’t Back Down (20th Century Fox), starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, tanked, doing even less than the lowest projections by bringing in just $2.7 million in 2,515 theaters, roughly $1,000 per site. That makes it one of the studio’s biggest bombs, right up there with the ill-advised “American Idol” musical From Justin to Kelly back in 2003, the 2008 thriller Deception and the Rainn Wilson comedy The Rocker.
Even with that bomb in the mix, the Top 10 was up from last year for the first time in many weeks, grossing an estimated $104 million, up 25% from the same weekend last year when Warner Bros.’ Dolphin Tale moved into first place with $13.9 million and none of the four new movies even made it into the Top 3.
Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.