A record fell this weekend at the box office, as audiences got in the mood for Halloween a little early this year.
In first place this weekend was Hotel Transylvania 2 (read our review), which made $47.5 million in its first three days. That figure breaks the previous September opening record, which was held by the 2012 original ($42.5). Despite a mixed critical reception, it still managed to find a great deal of traction commercially, perhaps because the family demographic has largely been underserved recently. The film has also received a nice assist from the international markets, as the worldwide total is $76.7 million currently. Given that the production budget was $80 million, the movie is on a path to turning a profit for Sony, who desperately needs a hit.
Time will tell how strong of a hold Hotel Transylvania 2 will be. The film does not have the widespread appeal of something like the best offerings from Pixar or DreamWorks, so that may hurt business down the line. However, chances are that it does play well throughout the next month, as Halloween is right around the corner and this is a fun, harmless movie that kids can watch to get into the holiday spirit.
Coming in second is new comedy The Intern (read our review), which brought in $18.2 million in its debut. That's the third-largest opening for director Nancy Meyers, trailing only What Women Want and It's Complicated. It's also the ninth-biggest debut for a film starring Robert De Niro, though it's important to keep in mind that the legendary actor isn't known for headlining runaway box office smashes. All in all, this was a solid debut for the film, which emerged as a safe counter-programming option for older audiences. It's unlikely to stick around for all that long, but since it was moderately budgeted for just $35 million, that won't be an issue.
Last week's champ, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials comes in third. The young adult adaptation grossed $14 million in its second weekend, which is a 53.8 percent drop from its opening numbers. It has now tallied $51.6 million domestically and $173.4 million internationally.
After expanding to 3,006 locations, survival thriller Everest (read our review) was the #4 film of the week. The $13 million is nothing to sneeze at, but Universal (for once this year) has to be disappointed with the way things turned out. They pushed Everest in a big way as a must-see event on the big screen, and after last week's incredible $7.5 million gross from 545 IMAX theaters, expectations were high for this one. Everest won't go down as a financial disappointment, because the $96.8 million global intake far surpasses the $55 million production budget, but the studio was probably hoping for this to be a larger hit.
Rounding out the top five was Black Mass. The Whitey Bulger biopic made $11.5 million in its second weekend and is now at $42.6 million domestically.
The Visit comes in at #6. M. Night Shyamalan's latest film added $6.7 million over the weekend and is up to $52.2 million Stateside.
The #7 film is The Perfect Guy with $4.7 million. The film has now made $48.8 million domestically.
Religious drama War Room is #8 with $4.2 million. It has now made $59.9 million in its run in the U.S.
Eli Roth's new horror film The Green Inferno debuted in ninth with $3.4 million. That's the lowest opening for a film by the director, but it's also the smallest opening in terms of number of theaters. Inferno played in just 1,540 locations and didn't have much of a marketing push, so this isn't as bad as one would think.
Finishing off the top ten is Sicario. The well-received crime drama expanded to 59 theaters and made $1.7 million. As buzz for the project continues to spread, it should only do better business next weekend when it expands nationwide.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, September 28 - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo
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