After an end of summer and early fall that left Hollywood looking like Planet Hollywood—full of old relics like Sylvester Stallone, mostly bust—the box office rebounded in a big way over the weekend, though it was only one company, Sony, reaping the benefits. With $43 million in receipts, the Adam Sandler-voiced animated spooker Hotel Transylvania broke the box office record for September, easily topping Woody Allen’s September, which actually opened in December to soft numbers, despite Allen satisfying pleas to stop making comedies and make Bergmanesque snoozefests instead. Hotel Transylvania also helped left Sandler’s falling star after Jack And Jill and That’s My Boy did disappointing to apocalyptic business. In a surprisingly robust second, Rian Johnson’s sci-fi/actioner Looper debuted with $21.2 million, a number that looks even better when factoring in the widely reported news that it opened bigger in China. It appears to be a case of history repeating itself: About 15 years ago, 12 Monkeys, another heady sci-fi movie starring Bruce Willis, performed better than such dystopian headtrips usually do. News was less kind to Won’t Back Down, which appeared a little late to capitalize on anti-union fervor, scoring just $2.7 million for 10th place at a comically awful $1,074 per screen.
In limited release, the 335-screen preview run of the a capella musical Pitch Perfect appeared to be a winning strategy, drawing a huge $15,522 per screen average and plenty of buzz for when it opens nationwide on Friday. Not much else to report in arthouses, except the continued robustness of Perks Of Being A Wallflower, which posted an $11,147 per screen average in its second week and seems poised to cross over into the multiplexes later in the fall. That means you, Des Moines!
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.