7TH & 8TH UPDATE, Monday 2:28 PM after 9:27 AM post with chart: Sony has officially reported that Hotel Transylvania 2’s opening weekend is $48.46M, which makes it Adam Sandler’s highest opening of his career on a FSS basis, pegging above 2005’s The Longest Yard ($47.6M). The animated sequel fanged a slew of records: best September opening of all-time, best debut for Sony Pictures Animation, and to date it’s Sony’s best opening of 2015. HT2 made $14.39M on Sundy, down 31% from its record September Saturday haul of $20.75M.

the intern 2Warner Bros.’ The Intern got lazy Sunday and slipped from its original weekend estimate of $18.2M yesterday to $17.7M this morning. Originally, Sunday looked like it was going to be $4.6M, but Intern dropped $450K worth of cash on its way to the bank with a daily gross of $4.15M yesterday. But don’t fire The Intern yet: Nancy Meyers’ films have awesome multiples: Something’s Gotta Give opened at $16.06M and finaled at 7.76x that figure with $124.7M. Both What Women Want and It’s Complicated flew past the century mark with 5x multiples of their openings. And as Black Mass showed last week, adults, not the kids, head to the theater on weekdays when school is in session.

BH-Tilt-Universal-High Top’s The Green Inferno was in sync with Sunday weekend estimates at $3.5M. Meanwhile, cash, not leaves, are falling from the autumn sky with ticket sales this weekend generating $137.2M per Rentrak, +25% over the same period a year ago and +22% over last weekend.

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Congrats to a.s. the most famous person in the world.
Ryan
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And thank you, for writing your lame comment twice under the same name. Pathetic! Oh, and I'm...
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Pixels has 234 million on a 88 million budget, so I'm pretty sure it's one one sandler's...

the keeping roomOne of the indies that had great buzz at the Toronto Film Festival last year was gritty femme Western The Keeping Room which follows two sisters and their slave fending off two crazed Union army soldiers from their homestead. It launched at two theaters making $4K, as well as on VOD, and distributor Drafthouse plans to expand to 40-50 markets. Keeping Room has a 69% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

This weekend, 20th Century Fox’s The Martian invades 3,750 theaters; it’s the same frame that Warner Bros. launched another sci-fi drama two years ago, Gravity, which made $55.8M. Coming out of TIFF, word of mouth is that the film marks director Ridley Scott’s comeback after the dismal The Counselor ($16.97M) and Exodus: Gods And Kings which alienated the faith-based crowd with $65M stateside. Similar to Uni’s Everest large-format launch, Sony is taking Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk out in 300, while Weinstein Co. will finally release 1940s noir Shanghai in 100 venues after being in the can for five years.  

1). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters / 3-day cume: $48.5M / Per screen average: $12,910 /Wk 1

2). The Intern (WB), 3,305 theaters / 3-day cume: $17.7M / Per screen: $5,364 / Wk 1

3). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,792 theaters (+1)/3-day cume: $14.3M (-53%)/ Per screen: $3,764 / Total cume: 52M/Wk 2

4). Everest (UNI), 3,006 theaters (+2,461) / 3-day cume: $13.2M (+83%) / Per screen: $4,405 / Total cume: 23.3M/Wk 2

5). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $11M (-51%)/ Per screen: $3.460 / Total cume: 42.1M /Wk 2

6). The Visit (UNI), 2,967 theaters (-181)/3-day cume: $6.7M (-42%) / Per screen: $2,250 / Total cume: $52.2M / Wk 3

7). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,889 theaters (-341) / 3-day cume: $4.8M (-51%)/ Per screen: $2,528 / Total cume: $48.9M /Wk 3

8). War Room (SONY), 1,920 theaters (-25) /3-day cume: $4.2M (-32%)/ Per screen: $2,210 / Total cume: $56M/ Wk 5

9). The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,540 theaters /3-day cume: $3.5M / Per screen: $2,286 / Wk 1

10). Sicario (LGF), 59 theaters (+53) /3-day cume: $1.7M (+328%) / Per screen: $29,107 / Total cume: $2.3M /Wk 2

11). A Walk In The Woods (BGP), 1,385 theaters (-773) /3-day cume: $1.1M (-61%) / Per screen: $799 / Total cume: $27.3M / Wk 4

12). Pawn Sacrifice (BS) 781 theaters (+748) /3-day cume: $1M (+397%)/ Per screen: $1,287 / Total cume: $1.3M/Wk 2

13). Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation (PAR), 840 theaters (-1,362)  / 3-day cume: $902K (-59%)/ Per screen: $1,073 / Total cume: $193.5M / Wk 9

14). Pixels (SONY), 503 theaters (-257) / 3-day cume: $784K (+11%) / Per screen: $1,558 / Total cume: $77.2M / Wk 10

15). Grandma (SPC), 804 theaters (-217)/3-day cume: $773K (-48%) / Per screen: $962 /Total cume: 5.1M /Wk 6

16). Straight Outta Compton (UNI), 609 theaters (-1,329) / 3-day cume: $658K (-66%) / Per screen: $1,080 / Total cume: $160.2M / Wk 7

17). Lost In Hong Kong (WLGO), 27 theaters /3-day cume: $538K / Per screen: $19,916K / Wk 1

18). Captive (PAR), 807 theaters (+1)//3-day cume: $507K (-64%)/ Per screen: $629 / Total cume: 2.3M /Wk 2

19). Minions (UNI), 507 theaters (-627) / 3-day cume: $436K (-56%) / Per screen: $860 / Total cume: $333.5M / Wk 12

20). Jurassic World (UNI), 347 theaters (-406) / 3-day cume: $390K (-39%)/ Per screen: $1,125 / Total cume: $650.4M / Wk 16

NOTABLES:

Stonewall (RSA), 129 theaters / 3-day cume: $113K / Per screen: $875 /Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 2 theaters / 3-day cume: $32K /Per screen: $16,126 / Wk 1

Mississippi Grind (A24), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $12,434 / Wk 1

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (MAG), 1 theaters /3-day cume: $5,254 / Wk 1

The Keeping Room (DHF), 2 theaters / 3-day cume: $4K/ Per screen: $2,164/ Wk 1

6TH UPDATE & 5TH UPDATE, Sunday, 7:54 AM after 12:08 AM post: Happy days are here again for Sony. Coming off of an A- CinemaScore, Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2 delivered a studio-reported $47.5M opening, which sets a new all-time opening record for September, surpassing the one the studio set with the first Hotel Transylvania ($42.5M). However, the confetti storm didn’t end there on the Culver City lot. HT2 also gave Sony Animation its best opening ever and Saturday’s estimated $20.85M marks the highest single day for the month, beating hotel 2the opening day of 2013’s Insidious Chapter 2 ($20.23M). After Sony’s War Room and The Perfect Guy, HT2 is their third No. 1 opening in a row. As of Sunday morning, HT2 ranks as Adam Sandler’s second best opening of his career behind 2005 football comedy The Longest Yard ($47.6M). His fingerprints were on HT2 as co-screenwriter, lead voiceover actor and executive producerThat said, HT2 was sold to families on the concept of its characters — Dracula, Mavis, Blobby, Vlad, etc. — versus any specific star’s image. HT2‘s success is just a bellwether for what’s yet to come for Sony: Spectre waiting in the wings.

Of those turning out to see HT2, 31% were general audience, 31% parents, and 38% kiddies, with 41% Male and 59% Female, as well as 60% under 25 and 40% 25 and over. Rentrak’s PostTrak reports that 23% of the audience bought tickets to HT2 because it was an animated film, while 16% were attracted to the toon’s subject matter and plot. There was a huge turnout by Hispanic audiences which I’m told is due in large part to a major 3-month partnership that Sony did with Univision which included media, custom integrations and talent involvement. There were in-show integrations and custom creative in top-rated shows like Premios Juventud, La Banda Premiere, Sábado Gigante Finale, and El Gordo y La Flaca.  In addition to virtual ads in soccer games, there were Twitter calls to action, inviting viewers to vote for a favorite player during key events like Gold Cup and the Premios Juventud awards show. Other highlights of the multi-pronged campaign included an animated piece during NBC’s The Voice where Carson Daly threw to “The Voice Transylvania” as the HT2 characters judged Blobby’s singing. There were worldwide fold-ins with the Angry Birds 2 game app and Roblox (a game similar to Minecraft). For teens and tweens, there was an influencer campaign, with Awesomeness TV and Zack King. Music is always a strong component of Sony’s push for any tentpole, and this time girl pop group Fifth Harmony recorded “I’m in Love with a Monster.” The video ran on Entertainment Tonight and the group did a number of appearances to promote the film, including an Awesomeness TV influencer screening for top tier and burgeoning YouTube stars. Current YouTube views: 9.1M.

Josh Greenstein, Sony’s worldwide marketing and distribution chief, beamed about the success of HT2 and commented on the pic’s campaign: “It speaks to how much people love these characters. We took a global approach on everything we did in terms of marketing and distribution which is a big focus for (Sony Pictures chairman) Tom Rothman in regards to our labels’ strategy. We knew family and Hispanic components were very important and we knew we had a movie that was beloved. We tried to age it up in the sell as much as we could, making it accessible to not only kids, but also teens and families. This is a phenomenal result for Sony Pictures Animation, and for Kristine Belson, who oversaw this project.  We’re so happy for Adam Sandler and Genndy who made a great film.”

According to iSpotTV, Sony shelled out an estimated $12.3M on TV spots with the majority of them running on Nick, Cartoon Network and Nick Toons with pricey buys on The Voice, NFL Football and last Sunday’s The Emmys. Spots started running as far back as Father’s Day and during the Back-to-School-period.  HT1 made 3.5x its opening for a final cume of $148.3M in the fall 2012.

intern posterThe Intern made $7.36M on Saturday, repping an 18% hike over Friday. The opening weekend for Nancy Meyers’ workplace comedy is at $18.2M per WB this morning, still above their mid-teen projections for the film. The multiple on Meyers’ fare is always amazing. As forecasted, it was an older women-skewing film with 62% females coming out, 88% over 25, 55% over 50. They came out in droves in such markets as New York, LA, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte and Wichita.

Said Warner Bros. distribution EVP Jeff Goldstein, “This was a perfect pairing of cast and filmmakers and concept. When you look at Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, their chemistry was unbelievable. Nancy Meyers is a lifestyle, she’s her own brand. It’s about the story, the dialogue, the set; it’s everything that attracts this older female demographic. Our marketing campaign was spot on and brilliantly connected the dots.” Posters clearly sold the concept that it was De Niro who was the older intern, not Hathaway, set in the chic upper-middle class NYC world of Meyers.

Per iSpot, Warner Bros. spent $24.7M on TV spots since August 17 with most of them airing on WE TV, TNT, MTV and Bravo. RelishMix reports the SMU for The Intern at 32M, 13.9M Facebook, 5.5M Twitter and YouTube views at 13.3M. Hathaway talked up the film on her Instragram (1.1M followers) and 2.1M Facebook page. Warners partnered with GILT, Refinery29, Pinterest, and FindSpark to host dedicated WOM screening events in multiple markets across the country, which included a deep-rooted influencer outreach of more than 200+ prominent tastemakers, lifestyle bloggers and paid influencers who were invited to attend, and they leveraged a combined social footprint of 7 million+ worldwide, including Meyers, Hathaway and Adam Devine. Below Hathaway tubthumps her Intern Apple Store appearance:

Last weekend’s holdovers took over spots 3 through 5. 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: Scorch Trials made $6.6M on Saturday per industry calculations, up 61% over its second Friday. Fox says that the second FSS is at $14M and the 10-day cume at $51.7M.

everest 2Universal-Walden Media-Cross Creek-Working Title’s (pant pant pant, running out of breath) Everest grossed an estimated $5.88M, +47% over its second Friday. Uni says the film is at $13.09M for the weekend with a 10-day cume of $23.1M. Since August 23, the studio has spent close to that much money — $20.4M — on U.S. TV ads alone per iSpot, with most of the spots running on History, Animal Planet, A&E, Spike, Syfy and Discovery. The second FSS is under where the industry was seeing it, and we’ll see how dedicated the film’s following is next week. Everest is at a higher peak worldwide with $96.8M. The film cost a reported $55M to make. 45% of audiences were under the age of 35 stateside, with males largely climbing into multiplex seats at 51%. Audience makeup: 59% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 13% Asian, 3% African American. Everest is still showing muscle at Imax hubs with 19 of the top 20 grossing playdates belonging to the large format brand. Imax screens at 366 made $3.7M taking domestic to $11.5M. That’s the first-ever September Imax release to click past $10M.

Warner Bros. reports that Black Mass made $11.5M, down 49% down from its opening for a running cume by EOD Sunday of $42.6M.

green inferno 2The third wide opener this weekend, BH-Tilt-Universal-High Top’s The Green Inferno grossed out $1.25M on Saturday, down 15% from opening day. The distributor is reporting $3.5M for the film this morning at 1,540 theaters in 9th place with the audience makeup being older males at 57% males and 57% over 25. Hispanics turned out at 24%. Keep in mind the distributor acquired Green Inferno for six figures and spent single digits on a largely digital campaign. iSpot reports that TV spots cost $1.09M. The weekend returns are below the $4M goal of this new limited, but wide, experiment by Blumhouse. That said, the purpose of this rollout is to sidestep VOD, while appealing to a small, fervent base of horror fans. The film is a very gory R, and even though Roth has a following, I’m told that there was no upside financially in shelling out $25M-$30M on P&A for this project.

sicario 4The other wonder this weekend belonged to Liongate’s drug trafficking thriller Sicario which busted into 10th place like a DEA agent crashing through the walls of a squat house, seizing $1.77M from a mere 59 theaters. That’s close to a four-fold climb over last weekend with a $30K theater average. Again, older males here, which seems to be the autumn norm: 56% guys, 83% over 25.

Studio reported figures, and industry variances, for the weekend of Sept. 25-27 as compiled by Deadline’s amazing Amanda N’Duka:

1). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters / $13.2M Fri. / $20.7M Sat. (+56%) / $13.6M Sun. (-34%) / 3-day cume: $47.5M /Wk 1
Industry estimate: $47.3M

2). The Intern (WB), 3,305 theaters / $6.2M Fri.* /$7.4M Sat. (+18%) / $4.6M Sun. (-37%) / 3-day cume: $18.2M /Wk 1
*includes $650K in Thursday previews

3). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,792 theaters (+1)/ $4.1M Fri. / $6.5M Sat. (+59%) / $3.4M Sun. (-49%) /3-day cume: $14M(-54%)/ Total cume: 51.7M/Wk 2
Industry estimate: $14.3M

4). Everest (UNI), 3,006 theaters (+2,461) / $4M Fri. /$5.9M Sat. (+48%) / $3.2M Sun. (-45%) / 3-day cume: $13.1M (+81%) /Total cume: 23.1M/Wk 2
Industry estimate: $13.4M

5). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters (0)/ $3.5M Fri. / $5M Sat. (+40%) / $3M Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $11.5M (-49%)/Total cume: 42.6M /Wk 2
Industry estimate: $11.3M

6). The Visit (UNI), 2,967 theaters (-181)/ $2M Fri. / $3.1M Sat. (+55%) / $1.6M Sun. (-50%) /3-day cume: $6.75M (-42%) / Total cume: $52.3M / Wk 3

7). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,889 theaters (-341) / $1.4M Fri. /$2.2M Sat. (+55%) / $1.1M Sun. (-52%) / 3-day cume: $4.75M (-51%)/ Total cume: $48.9M /Wk 3

8). War Room (SONY), 1,920 theaters (-25) / $1.2M Fri. / $1.75M Sat. (+42%) / $1.3M Sun. (-26%) /3-day cume: $4.3M (-31%)/ Total cume: $56M/ Wk 5

9). The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,540 theaters / $1.5M Fri.** / $1.2M Sat. (-17%) /$784K Sun. (-36%) /3-day cume: $3.5M /Wk 1
**includes $275K in Thursday previews

10). Sicario (LGF), 59 theaters (+53) / $559K Fri. /$681K Sat. (+22%) / $531K Sun. (-22%) /3-day cume: $1.77M (+341%) / Total cume: 2.35M /Wk 2

Notables: 

Lost In Hong Kong (WLGO), 26 theaters / $172K Fri. / $227K Sat. (+%32) / $125K Sun. (-25%) /3-day cume: $524K /Per screen: $20K / Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 2 theaters / $9K Fri. /$14K Sat. (+60%) / $10K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $33K /Per screen: $17K / Wk 1

Pawn Sacrifice (BS) 781 theaters (+748)/$323K Fri /$453K Sat. (+35%) / $263K Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $1K (+405%)/Total cume:$1.3M/Wk 2

Captive (PAR), 807 theaters (+1)/ $156K Fri. / $215K Sat. (+38%) / $134K Sun. (-38%) /3-day cume: $505K (-64%)/Total cume: 2.3M /Wk 2

Stonewall (RSA), 129 theaters / $38K Fri. /$44K Sat. (+15%) / $26K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $108K / Wk 1

Unbranded  (GRAV), 19 theaters / $7K Fri. /$5K Sat. (-44%) / $3K Sun. (-40%) / 3-day cume: $16K / Wk 1

Mississippi Grind (A24), 1 theaters / $4K Fri. / $5K Sat. (+20%) / $4K Sun. (-25%) /3-day cume: $14K / Wk 1

 

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4TH & 3RD UPDATE, Saturday 8:07AM after Friday, 11:35PM: You may not be able to see Adam Sandler in the flesh on screen this weekend, but you certainly hear him, and what audiences are listening to is quite funny, as they gave Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2 the same grade as the first one: an A- hotel transylvania 2CinemaScore. After being buried six feet under by the press this summer with his ambitious 1980s arcade spectacle Pixels ($88M reported budget, $76.5M domestic B.O.), Sandler has risen from the dead like his own cartoon Dracula, showing he ain’t no Waterboy that’ll be kicked around at the multiplex. Oh no — he’s still the wisenheimer who can suck the bucks out of audiences’ pockets. Hotel Transylvania 2 which Sandler voiced, co-wrote with Robert “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” Smigel and executive produced, is giving Sony its highest opening to date this calendar year, and, with an estimated $48.2M $46.8M at 3,754, its biggest FSS since that computer hack. The records don’t stop there: HT2 is so overbooked, it’s going to beat the September opening record it set two years ago with the first chapter, which took in $42.5M, and even more – it’s on the precipice of being  the best second highest FSS opening of Sandler’s career after the $47.6M FSS Memorial Day 2005 opener The Longest Yard. Note Sony has not called the record in favor of Sandler yet. Many industry figures are projecting this after Friday ticket sales came in higher at an estimated $13.2M (20% higher than HT1’s first day) this morning than the $12.8M  we saw last night, further anticipated by the 60% spike HT2 should get today from matinees. There are some rival studio box office analysts who believe HT2 can crack $50M. Strong performances at theaters on both coasts as well as the South.

Ya gotta hand it to Sony: They’ve cultivated this late September frame over the years with their animated fare such as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Open Season, just like Marvel has staked out the first weekend of May with their superhero product. It’s a perfect weekend; it’s so far from the summer, that families are dying to see anarchistic comedy toons.

Beamed Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution: “This is an absolutely stunning result from a beloved franchise and it has been a labor of love for all levels of the company starting with Sony chairman Tom Rothman through to Sony Animation president Kristine Belson to Josh Greenstein’s marketing and distribution team. They really brought this film to the next level. It’s not often that a sequel exceeds the opening of the first title the way this one has. Internationally, we had a huge expansion, doubling the first in the territories where we have opened so far. Hotel Transylvania 2 is up there with the most beloved animated franchises of all-time.” HT2 reps Belson’s first animated film under her new post, and she was instrumental in the film’s success; HT2 ranks as Sony Animation’s highest opener of all time. I’m also told that Rothman and Belson were involved in editing the Sandler toon for a global audience.

For a kid’s film, HT2 has a huge social footprint at 362M with 172M on Facebook, 46M on Twitter and YouTube views at 143.2M. According to RelishMix, the top HT2 videos are a combination of owned and earned reposted which indicates that fans are engaged and eager. The top 10 videos are all over 4M with the top 2 at +15M. Sandler across FB, Twitter and Instagram counts 55.35M, and he’s been talking about the movie, however, co-star Selena Gomez, who has a whopping 136.1M fans across all three social outlets, has largely confined her conversation to her upcoming album Revival, though the power pop ingenue has been involved in other forms of HT2 marketing such as introducing a series of “Monster Confessional” vignettes on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, TeenNick & Nick @ Nite in which kid monsters shared their experiences living in the human world. She introduced the trailer when it hit Univision morning show Despierta America, and she was the cover girl for a Scholastic custom educational campaign. 

the intern 2It’s another huge September weekend — a prosperous pace which started, believe it or not, during the ho-hum days of Labor Day weekend. After Black Mass bested its teen projections last weekend with a $22.6M opening, Warner Bros. has another strong adult pleaser in Nancy Meyers’ The Intern which is set to make an estimated $18.2M $18.6M after numbers this morning in the No. 2 spot. Intern landed Nancy Meyers her fourth A- CinemaScore in a row after It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday, and that could carry it to a bigger boost on Saturday, and potentially even a $20M-plus weekend. Rentrak’s Postrak spotted that mostly adults at 78% over 25 were crowding the theater the Anne Hathaway-Robert De Niro comedy, equally split between 50/50 male-female. The Intern had an estimated Friday payday of $6.2M $6.5M.

scorch trialsWhile Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass ruled over the Maze Runner gang all week with an Irish fist, The Scorch Trials’ kids threw rocks back at the Boston gangster’s pancake make-up head and are set to take third with $14M, off 53% for an estimated 10-day cume of $51.5, which would be 11% off from the first installment through its second weekend (its final cume $102.4M). Black Mass is getting snowed into fifth place with an estimated $11.5M by Universal’s Everest which is hanging onto to fourth with $12.4M. Black Mass is down 49% and is expected to post a 10-day cume of $42.5M.  The Johnny Depp film is behind the first 10-days of his previous fedora & tommy gun outing, Public Enemies at $56.7M (it finaled at $97.1M), but that film was sparked by July 4th holiday business at the onset, not to mention awards buzz could swell Black Mass’ stateside cume like freckles on Depp’s Bulger face. As observed from Black Mass’ weekday business, not all adults head to the theater on the weekend.

Universal’s Everest is not near the $15M everyone was figuring, but that’s a number the industry was calculating, not the studio. The fact of the matter is that Everest is on course for a second FSS that is +72% from a week ago. By Sunday, the total will be at an estimated $22.4M and the question is how far this pre-Imax/PLF experimental rollout will play out in the end, or whether it falls off a cliff in its third weekend. Word of mouth is hot among both audiences and exhibitors, and it will be interesting to see if that impacts the film’s awards season chances. It’s holding up in the face of Black Mass as well as a slew of other awards season bait. PostTrak reports 59% of Everest‘s ticket buyers are guys with 74% over 25.

sicarioLionsgate’s drug trafficking thriller Sicario is set to uncover an estimated $1.7M $1.17M of cash in its second weekend and bust into 10th place after expanding from six theaters in LA and New York to 59 runs. It has a 92% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating, and the awesome response from critics is obviously resonating with adult audiences. In addition to Emily Blunt’s fierce performance as an FBI agent and Benicio del Toro’s turn as a slippery cartel consultant, folks are marveling about Denis Villeneuve’s directing here and Johann Johannsson’s intense score. Lionsgate gets a golf clap for platforming this Cannes film fest wonder out: This is the way to handle this high brow intense film and spread good word of mouth.  Back in 2011, they had something special with the then- potential awards contender Warrior. But the distributor took the Irish-American mixed martial arts film wide in its first weekend at 1,869 where it essentially punched itself in the face, hitting the ground with a $5.2M opening (and a final cume of $13.7M) as it squared off against another popular heady adult film, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion which notched No. 1 with $22.4M. However, the word of mouth for Sicario is even greater than it was for Warrior, and in this case it provides a greater opportunity for Lionsgate to platform the film and trigger good chatter, which can cut through the current onslaught of awards season fare. Sicario got into Cannes and TIFF, Warrior did not. Given the distrib’s investment in the co-financed Warrior, it made more sense to go wide with it at the time to get its maximum buck back, versus a platform since WOM wasn’t so strong, not to mention certain audiences were just turned off by the whole mixed martial arts element of it.

Bleecker Street’s expansion of Pawn Sacrifice from 33 sites to 748 theaters grossed an estimated $323K on Friday with a second FSS projected to be $995K with a 10-day cume of $1.3M. Roadside Attractions started its march with Roland Emmerich’s 1960s gay rights film Stonewall at 129 situations where it is currently tracking to ring up $123K. Broad Green’s 99 Homes, a critical fave from last year’s Venice-Telluride-Toronto triad with a 90% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, booked an estimated $8K at two theaters for an expected opening weekend of $29K – that’s nothing to get too happy about, but in all fairness, it’s still early in the film’s run.

green infernoThe weekend’s third wide entry, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno from BH-Tilt/Universal/High Top is looking to hit the lower end of its goal, $3.5M at 1,540 in 9th place – a number which comes close to BH-Tilt’s business plan to launch microbudget acquisitions and projects off single digit digital marketing campaigns.  The film got a C- CinemaScore, but when it comes to horror films, audience polling results go out the window. Roth’s Hostel was a breakout success that cost $4.8M and made $47.3M; that film also earned a C-. By the way, The Green Inferno film stills are black comedy at their best: Everyone is bloody and screaming. Talk about Club Med gone wrong. Older guys are frequenting this film per PostTrak at 60% males over 25 and 59% over 25.

The top 10 films per industry estimates as compiled by Deadline’s Amanda N’Duka:

1). Hotel Transylvania 2 (SONY), 3,754 theaters / $13.2M Fri. / 3-day cume: $48.2M /Wk 1

2). The Intern (WB), 3,305 theaters / $6.5M Fri. */ 3-day cume: $18.6M /Wk 1
*includes $650K in Thursday previews

3). Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (FOX), 3,792 theaters (+1)/ $4.08M Fri. (-63%) / 3-day cume: $14M(-54%)/ Total cume: $51.5M/Wk 2

4). Everest (UNI), 3,006 theaters (+2,461) / $4M Fri. (+76%) / 3-day cume: $12.4M (+72%) /Total cume: $22.4M/Wk 2

5). Black Mass (WB), 3,188 theaters (0)/ $3.5M Fri. (-60%)/ 3-day cume: $11.5M (-49%)/Total cume: $42.5M /Wk 2

6). The Visit (UNI), 2,967 theaters (-181)/ $2M Fri. (-45%)/ 3-day cume: $6.53M (-44%) / Total cume: $52M / Wk 3

7). The Perfect Guy (SONY), 1,889 theaters (-341) / $1.43M Fri. (-54%)/ 3-day cume: $4.6M (-52%)/ Total cume: $48.7M /Wk 3

8). War Room (SONY), 1,920 theaters (-25) / $1.2M Fri. (-34%)/ 3-day cume: $4.2M (-32%)/ Total cume: $55.9M/ Wk 5

9). The Green Inferno (HTR), 1,540 theaters / $1.47M Fri.** / 3-day cume: $3.5M /Wk 1
**includes $275K in Thursday previews

10). Sicario (LGF), 59 theaters (+53) / $551K Fri. (+312%)/3-day cume: $1.7M (+325%) / Wk 2

Notables:

Pawn Sacrifice (BS) 781 theaters (+748)/$323K Fri (+430%)/3-day cume: $995K (+356%)/Total cume:$1.3M/Wk 2

Lost In Hong Kong (WLGO), 25 theaters / $172K Fri. / 3-day cume: $505K /Per screen: $19K / Wk 1

Captive (PAR), 807 theaters (+1)/ $156K Fri. (89%)/ 3-day cume: $500K (-64%)/Total cume: $2.28M /Wk 2

Stonewall (RSA), 129 theaters / $38K Fri. / 3-day cume: $123K / Wk 1

99 Homes (BGP), 2 theaters / $9K Fri. / 3-day cume: $29K /Per screen: $13K / Wk 1

Mississippi Grind (A24), 1 theaters / $5K Fri. / 3-day cume: $14K / Wk 1

2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY, 1:24 PM: Hotel Transylvania 2 is packing in a lot of guests this weekend as the sequel per industry matinee estimates is looking at an estimated $12.5M today, with a good shot at an opening in the mid-$40Ms at 3,754 venues. One studio source sees the film tracking behind Rio 2, which made $39.3M, but many are expecting the Adam Sandler animated pic in the $40M-plus realm. One competitive distrib source actually sees $50M and couched nicely, “I don’t want to set them (Sony) up to fail.” Keep in mind matinees are very hot right now and business could slow tonight. Sony will be happy with a gross for the sequel in the mid-$30M range. The first comical monster mash toon sucked a bloody good September record of $42.5M.

Warner Bros.’ The Intern is seeing a Friday in the $6M-$7M range with a weekend take right now of $18M-$20M at 3,305 venues. There isn’t a wide, giddy chick pic in the market right now, and that’s what Intern has going for it.

maze runner 220th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is looking for a second-frame decline in the mid-to-high -40s, for $15.8M-$17.5M and a 10-day running cume of $53.5M-$55.2M. Warner Bros.’ second FSS for Black Mass should ease to the lower -40s, to about $13.6M with a 10-day cume of $44.7M.

Everest right now is slightly slower than expected with a $4M-$5.5M Friday and a second FSS of $13M, however, it could snow up to $15M. Universal is distributing the Working Title/Walden Media/Cross Creek co-production.

BH Tilt/High Top/Uni’s The Green Inferno is tracking in the $3M-$4M range in its opening weekend.

THE INTERNPREVIOUS, 7:22 AM: Warner Bros. is reporting $650K for Thursday previews to Nancy Meyers’ The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. Showtimes kicked off at 7 PM. The film, which has a lock on older females, is expected to generate between $15M-$20M this weekend. The pic follows a retired successful business owner and widower who takes an internship at a fashion website run by a career-driven woman. Intern has a 50% Rotten Tomatoes score currently. On Fandango’s fanticipation survey meter, it ranks third for this weekend.

Sony did not hold any previews last night for its Adam Sandler-produced animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 (kids are still in school — they gotta go to bed). According to Fandango, Hotel Transylvania 2 is outselling the first film at the same point in its sales cycle and is the top ticket pre-seller for the weekend. The first Hotel Transylvania owns the September opening record with $42.5M, and $32M is a safe bet for the sequel in the current marketplace of sequelitis, though some B.O. bean counters are heading to Las Vegas with a $40M projection.

green inferno 2In addition BH Tilt-Universal-High Top’s The Green Inferno from Eli Roth grabbed $275K from showtimes starting at 9 PM. The film which for horror fans marks the big-screen directorial return of Roth — his last full-length movie being 2007’s Hostel: Part II — is on track to make $3M-$4M at 1,540 venues.

Similar to the way that faith-based films have squarely targeted at the Christian demo, BH Tilt is practicing a similar rollout with Green Inferno but with horror fans, with the Roth film being the first of three titles. The label will release microbudget horror fare in a limited amount of theaters with a goal of making $4M-$5M during their opening weekends, and with an ad campaign that’s largely propped by digital and with a cap in the single-digit-million-dollar range. Green Inferno was originally schedule to open on Labor Day weekend 2014, but was pulled from the schedule after the film’s financier Worldview Entertainment balked at shelling out for P&A. BH Tilt-Universal and High Top took over the film in June.

Second on the Fandango fanticipation meter is Universal’s Everest which in its expansion from 545 PLF and Imax hubs to 3,004 engagements, is on track to hammer $15M in its second climb.

And in early morning reporting, Black Mass continued to walk on the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials kids, as the Johnny Depp film took No. 1 Thursday with an estimated $1.645M to the Dylan O’Brien film’s $1.44M. Black Mass, despite its No. 2 rank last weekend, has been No. 1 Monday through Thursday, chalking up $31.1M for the week to Scorch Trials’ estimated seven-day take of $37.7M.