Rumors of Adam Sandler’s box-office demise have clearly been exaggerated, as the actor/comedian returned to the top of the weekend rankings with a record-breaking opening for Hotel Transylvania 2.
The sequel to 2012’s hit animated feature about a resort for monsters run by Count Dracula (as voiced by Sandler), Hotel Transylvania 2 earned more than $47.5 million over the weekend, giving it the most successful September premiere of all time. The record was previously held by its predecessor, which had a $42.5 million opening weekend and went on to earn more than $148 million domestically and $358 million worldwide. The film also now ranks as the second-best opening for any of Sandler’s films, just after his 2005 remake of The Longest Yard.
Along with Sandler as Dracula, Hotel Transylvania 2 features the voices of Mel Brooks, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Molly Shannon, and Jon Lovitz. The film is directed by Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars director Genndy Tartakovsky, who also directed the 2012 film.
It’s Complicated writer/director Nancy Meyers managed a respectable second-place finish for the weekend with her new comedy The Intern, which casts Robert DeNiro as a retired widower who gets back into the working world when he takes an internship at a fashion website run by Anne Hathaway’s character. The film earned more than $18.2 million for the weekend.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials slipped to third place after an impressive opening weekend, adding another $14 million in U.S. theaters to bring its total gross to $51.6 domestically and $173.4 million worldwide. While it’s on a slower pace than its predecessor, 2014’s The Maze Runner, director Wes Ball’s adaptation of James Dashner’s post-apocalyptic novel trilogy is doing well enough so far to make a franchise-ending third installment a good bet.
Universal’s IMAX-friendly ensemble film Everest finished the weekend in fourth place with just over $13 million in its first weekend outside IMAX and large-screen theaters. The wide release of Everest puts the film in an additional 3,004 theaters around the U.S., and though the film is doing very well in the large-screen environment, it’s likely to take a hit in the coming weeks with both Ridley Scott’s The Martian and Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk competing for IMAX fans’ attention. So far, Everest has earned $23.1 million in the U.S. and an impressive $96.8 million worldwide.
Coming in fifth for the weekend was Black Mass, which has earned Johnny Depp some considerable Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, but hasn’t exactly dominated the box office. The film features an impressive supporting cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Rory Cochran, and Kevin Bacon, and added just $11.5 million to its $42.6 million gross so far.
Next on the list of the weekend’s top films were M. Night Shyamalan’s surprisingly successful — both with critics and audiences alike — thriller The Visit ($6.8 million), stalker drama The Perfect Guy ($4.8 million), and religious drama War Room ($4.3 million).
Eli Roth’s gruesome horror film The Green Inferno managed a ninth-place finish for its relatively limited opening weekend in 1,539 theaters, earning $3.5 million for the Hostel director’s gory thriller about a group of activists captured by cannibals in the Amazon rainforest.
Closing out the top ten for the weekend was Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed drug-war thriller Sicario, which earned $1.8 million from screenings in only 59 theaters — which averages out to a whopping $30,000 per theater. The film stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, and will open wide this upcoming weekend with a massive amount of positive buzz already.
It’s worth noting that Roland Emmerich’s polarizing drama Stonewall also opened over the weekend, but poor reviews and controversy seemed to put a damper on its premiere. The film, which chronicles the days leading up to the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City that are considered a turning point in the LGBT rights movement, earned just $110,000 from screenings in 129 theaters.
Coming up this week are the aforementioned high-wire thriller The Walk (premiering September 30) and sci-fi drama The Martian (October 2), which are both likely to dominate the weekend and compete for audiences’ attention.