Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania 2 scared up $48.5 million for a number 1 launch, making it the best September film opening ever as well as the best opening ever for a Sony Pictures Animation film. The beleaguered studio also scored its best opening in well over a year.

Compared to its predecessor Hotel Transylvania in 2012, the new film opened with $6 million more, however since it opened in 400 additional theaters (3,754 for HT2 vs. 3,349 theaters for the original), its per-theater average only slightly exceeded the original.

While Hotel Transylvania 2 ranks as the fifth-highest U.S. animation opening of 2015, trumped by Minions ($115.7M), Inside Out ($90.4M), The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($55.4M), and Home ($52.1M), the film is a win for director Tartakovsky, who revealed to Cartoon Brew the creative conflicts of making the movie with Adam Sandler. The film, while poorly reviewed, screened well with audiences who gave it an A- Cinemascore rating. (Incidentally, the film also marks Adam Sandler’s best opening ever, beating the $47.6M debut of The Longest Yard.)

Internationally, the Tartakovsky film grossed an additional $29.2M from 42 markets, led by Mexico which generated $7.9M in ticket sales. In the same markets, Drac and crew are performing significantly better than their first outing; for example, in the Philippines, Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed $1.6M in four days and already surpassed the lifetime total of the first installment, reported Deadline.

Sony worldwide distribution head Rory Bruer all but assured a third installment when he said yesterday that the film is “on its way to being one of the most beloved franchises of all time. There are a lot of stories left to tell.” Tartakovsky, however, will almost certainly not be involved in any additional films in the franchise, leaving Sandler to fend for himself.

Other notable animation totals: Pixar’s Inside Out grossed $8.4 million worldwide last weekend, boosting its global total to $774.5M. It is Pixar’s third highest-grossing film ever behind just Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo. Minions grossed $7.2M worldwide, lifting its overall to $1.13 billion. It is now the second highest-grossing animated film of all-time behind Frozen.

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