NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Estimates: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Sets New September Record with $47.5M Debut; 'The Intern' Delivers with $18.2M Second Place Start; 'Everest' Modest in Fourth with $13.1M Expansion

on September 26, 2015


Sunday Report: Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 led the way this weekend with an estimated $47.5 million debut. The Adam Sandler led 3D computer animated film from Sony Pictures Animation outpaced expectations and set a new opening weekend record for the month of September (without adjusting for ticket price inflation). Hotel Transylvania 2 opened 12 percent stronger than the $42.52 million debut of its predecessor (and previous September opening weekend record holder) Hotel Transylvania back in 2012. It should be noted that when adjusting for ticket price inflation, 1998's Rush Hour continues to hold the September record with an adjusted gross of $59.04 million from an actual gross of $33.00 million.

Hotel Transylvania 2 represents a nice bounce back for Sandler and Sony after the lackluster performance of Pixels this summer. Sony Pictures Animation continues to be especially successful during the month of September, as four of the top ten largest unadjusted September debuts of all-time currently belong to computer animated films from Sony Pictures Animation (in addition to the Hotel Transylvania films, the two Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs films also rank in the September top ten). Hotel Transylvania 2 was helped out by the solid reception to its predecessor and by there being very little new product for family audiences in the marketplace over the past two months.

Hotel Transylvania 2 opened with $13.23 million on Friday (the film didn't have early shows on Thursday evening), increased 56 percent on Saturday to gross $20.66 million and is estimated to decline 34 percent on Sunday to gross $13.62 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.59 to 1. Hotel Transylvania 2 received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (59 percent) and moviegoers under the age of 25 (60 percent). Parents and kids represented 69 percent of the film's overall audience.

Warner's The Intern was off to a nice start this weekend with an estimated second place take of $18.23 million. The Nancy Meyers directed comedy starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway opened on the high end of pre-release expectations. The film's success this weekend was largely driven by its co-stars and director. With the release slate this September and October being full of dramas and thrillers, The Intern also stood out for moviegoers currently in the mood for a comedy. The Intern opened 12 percent ahead of the $16.33 million start of 2013's Last Vegas.

The Intern started out with $6.24 million on Friday (which included an estimated $650,000 from Thursday night shows), increased an encouraging 18 percent on Saturday to take in $7.36 million and is estimated to fall 37 percent on Sunday to gross $4.64 million That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.92 to 1. That is a good early sign for The Intern going forward, as is the film's healthy A- rating on CinemaScore. The Intern will have a good chance of holding up well going forward, especially given the relative lack of comedies entering the marketplace during October. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards female moviegoers (62 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (88 percent).

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was down two spots from last weekend's first place debut to land in third with an estimated $14.0 million. The young adult sequel from Fox fell a sizable 54 percent from last weekend. In comparison, last year's The Maze Runner was down 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $17.44 million. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has grossed $51.69 million in ten days. That is below expectations and places the film 11 percent behind the $57.96 million ten-day take of The Maze Runner. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is highly likely to fall short of reaching $100 million domestic mark given that comparison.

After a very promising start in moderate release last week, Everest was unable to break out upon going into wide release this weekend. Instead, the 3D adventure drama from Universal had to settle for a modest estimated fourth place take of $13.09 million. While Everest was up 81 percent over last weekend, the film's per-location average also eroded greatly in the process of such a large expansion. The film's softer than anticipated expansion this weekend in combination with the film's good performance last week strongly suggests that moviegoers especially want to experience Everest in the IMAX format. Everest has grossed $23.23 million through ten days of release (with IMAX grosses representing an estimated $11.5 million of that total thus far).

Everest took in $3.98 million on Friday, increased 48 percent on Saturday to gross $5.88 million and is estimated to fall 45 percent on Sunday to take in $3.23 million. That places the film's estimated weekend to Friday ratio at 3.29. Everest received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. The film will now have to depend much more on holding power going forward, which will be easier said than done given the new competition it will be facing throughout the month of October, especially from Fox's highly anticipated The Martian beginning this coming Friday. It should be noted that Everest is performing significantly stronger overseas than it is domestically so far.

Warner's Black Mass rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $11.51 million. The Johnny Depp led crime drama was down three spots and 49 percent from last weekend, which suggests that the film isn't going over as well with moviegoers as it has with critics. It should also be noted that based on its performance thus far, Black Mass has been relatively stronger on weekdays than it has been on weekends. The ten-day total for Black Mass stands at $42.61 million, which places the film 12.5 percent behind the $48.69 million ten-day gross of 2010's The Town and 10.5 percent ahead of the $38.55 million ten-day take of 2013's Prisoners.

Meanwhile, The Green Inferno debuted in ninth place this weekend with an estimated $3.50 million. The long delayed Eli Roth directed horror film was given a wide release by Blumhouse's new BH Tilt distribution label and by High Top releasing. The Green Inferno opened towards the lower end of its already low expectations. The film started with $1.48 million on Friday, fell 17 percent on Saturday to gross $1.23 million and is estimated to fall 36 percent on Sunday to gross $0.78 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a front-loaded 2.36 to 1. The audience breakdown for The Green Inferno skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and older (57 percent). The Green Inferno received a lackluster C- rating on CinemaScore and should fade away from theatres quickly.

On the platform front, Lionsgate's Sicario excelled this weekend with an estimated $1.77 million from 59 locations. That gave Sicario a strong per-location average of $30,000 for the frame and placed the film in tenth place among all films this weekend. The critically acclaimed crime thriller starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin has grossed $2.35 million in ten days of platform release. After this weekend's performance, Sicario appears to be in good shape for its expansion into wide release next weekend.

Saturday Report: Sony reports that Hotel Transylvania 2 posted a strong opening day of $13.25 million on Friday, besting its predecessor's $10.97 million first Friday three years ago by 21 percent. This marks yet another recent victory for the studio, and gives Adam Sandler a welcome win at the box office after the under-performance of Pixels over the summer. The studio reports an "A-" CinemaScore for the sequel, on top of a very encouraging 85 percent Flixster audience score as of this morning -- indicators that the pic is playing well and will sprout healthy legs through the fall as the only animated release until November's Peanuts Movie. Sony is projecting a $46 million opening weekend for Hotel Transylvania 2, which would already give it the new September record over its predecessor ($42.5 million), but we're a bit more optimistic and projecting a $48 million frame.

Offering a strong debut itself in second place, Warner Bros.' The Intern bowed to $6.22 million on Friday. The dramedy is finding great appeal with older crowds -- particularly women -- thanks to leads Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, as well as writer/director Nancy Meyers. The latter continues to build her following with this film after past successes like It's Complicated, The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, and What Women Want. This is her first (and second ever) film to open outside the holiday season since 1998's The Parent Trap, so comparisons are few and far between; that being said, Intern bested the $4.96 million first day of Age of Adaline earlier this year, as well as fellow De Niro-starrer The Family ($5.4 million) in September 2013. With strong word of mouth ("A-" CinemaScore; 79 percent on Flixster), expect a long and healthy run. BoxOffice is projecting a $17 million opening weekend.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was off 63 percent from opening day last week to $4.115 million yesterday in third place. That gives the young adult sequel an eight-day domestic haul of $41.8 million, putting it 9 percent behind the pace of the first film. BoxOffice projects a $13.8 million sophomore frame.

Universal's Everest claimed fourth on Friday with $4.01 million as it expanded into nationwide release following a fantastic IMAX/PLF debut last weekend, giving it a domestic total of $14.05 million so far. The studio is expecting a $12.1 million weekend, which is noticeably below most expectations entering the weekend, but still gives it a solid place to start from as word of mouth continues to appear positive. It's big test will be next week when it loses IMAX screens to The Walk.

Black Mass was off 60 percent from last Friday to $3.5 million in fifth place. The well-received Johnny Depp-led gangster pic has tallied $34.6 million through eight days of release, about 9 percent off the pace of 2010's The Town. Look for a healthy second weekend total around $11 million.

Eli Roth's first directorial feature in eight years, The Green Inferno, opened with $1.47 million in 1,540 theaters yesterday. That's considerably behind the $3.1 million first day of his 2003 debut film, Cabin Fever, but is in line with expectations for the low-budget horror pic. Early word of mouth (44 percent on Flixster; 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) is par for the course given its genre. BoxOffice projects a $3.5 million weekend.

Meanwhile, War Room continues to impress as it eased 33 percent from last Friday to $1.225 million. Its domestic tally is now at $52.95 million as it heads toward a $4.2 million frame.

Last but not least, Sicario earned $550,838 on Friday as it cracked the top ten in a limited expansion to 59 theaters. That's up 312 percent from last Friday's take, offering a similar performance as last year's Birdman -- which bumped 219 percent Friday-to-Friday as it expanded to 50 locations in its second frame. With an excellent $1.13 million earned in total so far, Sicario is poised to bring in $1.7 million this weekend before it expands nationwide next Friday.

Follow BoxOffice here and on Twitter on Sunday for updated weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Report #2: According to various sources, here's how the weekend is shaping up:

Hotel Transylvania 2: $42 million-$44 million
The Intern: $18 million-$20 million
Everest: $16 million-$17 million
The Green Inferno: $4 million

Check back tomorrow for official studio numbers and updated projections.

Friday Report #1: Warner Bros. reports The Intern pulled an estimated $650,000 from Thursday's early shows beginning at 7pm. That's considerably ahead of The Family's $380,000 Thursday night start two Septembers ago, which was led by Intern's co-star Robert De Niro. Anne Hathaway is just as much a draw here as well (probably more so for the target older female audience), and last night's strong start can also be partly attributed to writer/director Nancy Meyers' reputation for delivering crowd-pleasers.

Meanwhile, Eli Roth returned with his first directorial feature in eight years as The Green Inferno pulled $275,000. While not an earth-shattering early figure, that is in line with expectations for the relatively low-profile horror release.

Reports indicate that Sony did not screen Hotel Transylvania 2 on Thursday night.

More updates as they come.

Tags: Everest, The Green Inferno, The Intern, Hotel Transylvania 2, north-america

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