Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania” Debuts With $42.5 Million

The Genndy Tartakovsky-helmed Hotel Transylvania overcame overwhelmingly negative reviews to lead the U.S. box office with an opening weekend total of $42.5 million. It is the best opening weekend ever for a Sony Pictures Animation feature, topping the $35.6 million opening of The Smurfs in 2011 and the $30.3 million opening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 2009.


  • wever

    Congrats to Sony!

  • http://sketchyplace.blogspot.com Alan

    Finally some vindication for Genndy!!! WOOHOO!!!

  • Bud

    Congrats to Sony Marketing!

  • Funkybat

    I have to admit, I’m honestly surprised that this film won the weekend, making twice what “Looper” did. Maybe it was because there hasn’t been anything new released for family audiences since ‘ParaNorman,” or maybe it’s because “Looper” seemed too confusing for general audiences, I don’t quite understand it.

    Anyway, I’m glad to see another animated film at the top for once. I somehow doubt it will hold the title next week, or that “Frankenweenie” will be able to steal #1 from “Taken 2″ (really, did that movie need to exist?) but we can enjoy this moment, anyhoo.

    • A.H.

      ‘Scuse me, but family audiences never really seemed to like Paranorman, at least from the reviews by parents seem to tell. Then again, over here audiences really did enjoy it. I’m surprised it’s gotten negative reviews at all!
      I’m so glad it’s doing this well, but feel like it has a bit more to do with marketing really :/ there’s been stands and commercials being aired here since the start of summer, which was a lot longer time than Paranorman, so family-oriented doesn’t feel like that much of a factor anymore I guess.
      Sorry, this got long-winded.
      Totally agreeing with that gladness!

  • Matt P.

    Glad to hear! I think it’s better than most critics are saying!

  • mysteriousanimatorx

    Excellent! Any profit is good for us animators. It means more jobs and less layoffs.

    • animsmart

      …in Vancouver.

  • Cybertoon

    CG “Mad Monster Party” II?

  • Sotiris

    ‘The Smurfs’ had the second most successful opening weekend for a SPA film with $35.6 million. It doesn’t matter it’s a hybrid. It should still count.

  • http://youtube.com/drexelboi1991 tedzey71

    Paranorman opens with 14 million and Hotel Transylvania opens with 43. I have mixed feeling about this…

    • Funkybat

      I enjoyed both films, I guess I feel like the main difference in market performance are due to;

      A: HT was released closer to Halloween.

      and B: The name recognition of Adam Sandler.

      Don’t laugh, as much as some groups love to dismiss Sandler, if it’s the right kind of movie, his mere presence will make a difference, at least for opening weekend ticket sales. Same thing as with Ice Age 4, having what we animation/film geeks consider to be “celebrity stunt” voice casting surely helped the bottom line with some demographics.

      ParaNorman was an incredibly well-executed, thoughtful film. It also had no A-list celebs or popular music performers as voice actors, no Happy Meal tie-in, etc. And while it had better marketing than, say, Iron Giant, it still relied more on word-of-mouth and niche stuff like the free posters pasted up in “hip” urban neighborhoods. I think Laika was counting on the core of Coraline fans as well as new comedy-horror fans to come out for it, but for some reason it didn’t have that groundswell.

  • Katie

    GOOD! This movie was far from perfect, but definitely did NOT deserve the super negative reviews it got.

  • Gobo

    Well deserved. The critics hated it, but I saw it in a theatre of laughing, delighted kids and, what’s more important, laughing parents. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a kids’ movie that made both happy… and it’s so refreshing to see a truly cartoony 3D film. I hope this gives Genndy Tartakovsky a big boost to his career.

  • Sarah J

    Eh, not much surprise here. There aren’t really any other kids movies to compete with right now. (other than ParaNorman, but that movie hasn’t gotten as much marketing, not to mention that the dark tone probably made it less appealing to the “family friendly” crowd)

  • feep

    Deserves it. Great job Sony Animation.

  • Paul M

    I had made up my mind to definitely see this no matter what kind of reviews it was going to get, out of loyalty to Genndy.

    That said, he was the 5th director attached to a rather uninspired project, and if I don’t like some aspects of it I’ll take a cue from Vic and Scott at Reviews on the Run and blame it on the writing.

    Good luck with Popeye, and all future projects, Genndy.

    Sym-Bionic Titan was awesome, I hope someday it comes back…

    • wever

      6th director.

      Would be interesting to see some info on how the movie was going to be under the previous ones.

  • Juliusaurus

    Go Genndy! And great job Sony! Now this should help get the ball rolling for that Samurai Jack movie to happen!

    • Xox

      Been waiting 8 years for that. Too bad Mako died, they’ll have to find someone else to voice him, or keep him mute for the whole film.

  • Chris J.

    I saw this with my 6 year-old over the weekend and we both had a blast. It felt like the feature-length Bugs Bunny cartoon that Warner Brothers could never figure out how to make. Great gags and it never got bogged down in the pretentious melodrama I think some 3D films try to inject to prove they’re as “deep” as Pixar. Very happy its doing well!

  • http://kandjcomic.com/ John S

    F the critics. What do they know about cartoons? This is probably the same group of critics who routinely give high marks to boring “animated films” by a certain Northern California purveyor of “quality”, “important”, “animated” films. Feh!!!
    Congrats to Genndy and all my pals at Sony!!! This was hard won, and you deserve it!!!

  • http://artofstodoe.blogspot.com Stodoe

    The animation in this movie is by far the best animation I’ve seen from Sony and probably the most fun animation I’ve seen in years. I was enthralled the entire time by the posing and fun animation ideas. There were a couple of pop culture references but they didnt get in the way of the story and didn’t bother me. I left feeling relieved that someone was animating a cartoon rather than just “caricaturing” reality.
    Definately go see this movie.

    • wever

      Best animation? Cloudy had similar animation, and that was by the same studio.

      • A.H.

        different directors though! and different style as well.
        I liked cloudy a lot, but i’m sure it’s a completely different beast from this one, same studio/similar 3D or not.

  • Meg

    Congrats Sony! I agree with some others that the reviews were pretty harsh. The story wasn’t the greatest but the animation was hilarious and totally makes it worth seeing. All the kids in the theater I was in were laughing like crazy.