After 10 years of middling success, Sony Pictures Animation may finally have another breakout hit. The studio's new animated comedy "Hotel Transylvania" ran away with the top spot at the box office and exceeded expectations with $43 million. Sony Animation's previous top grosser was "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" which debuted to $30.3 million just over three years ago. "Transylvania" has competition next week with Tim Burton's stop motion animated "Frankenweenie" opening, but it should still eventually cross the $100 million mark. It's a nice surprise considering Sony Pictures Animation doesn't always receive the respect it deserves from the media or its peers.
Another Sony release hit the second spot as "Looper" grossed an impressive $21.2 million. The Rian Johnson directed thriller cost only $30 million after shooting in both China and Louisiana. Sony Pictures and Endgame Entertainment are hoping for strong word of mouth in the weeks to come especially after averaging an 84 on Metacritic and a superb 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Universal Pictures released "Pitch Perfect" in just 335 and audiences are singing their song as it made $5.2 million over three day. That's an absolutely knockout $15,522 per screen average. "Perfect" expands to over 2,700 theaters nationwide on Friday.
Unfortunately, there was some bad news at the local multiplex. 20th Century Fox and Walden Media's "Won't Back Down" was nothing but a disaster finding just $2.7 million on 2,500 screens. The teachers vs. the teacher's union drama landed one of the worst openings of the year.
New releases this Friday include the aforementioned "Frankenweenie" and "Taken 2." The latter is polling at a massive $50 million plus opening.
Box Office actuals are released on Monday.