Sunday Update: Sony, the studio responsible for delivering Dwayne Johnson’s biggest movie of all-time at the domestic box office earlier this year, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($404.5M), beat the family action star’s Skyscraper this weekend with their family-animated film, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, $44.1M to $25.4M.
The animated feature, efficiently budgeted at reportedly $80M before P&A, contributes to summer’s franchise momentum, fueled by Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, and at a start that currently marks the second-best domestic opening for the Adam Sandler vampire animated series behind Hotel Transylvania 2 ($48.4M). Sony is looking forward to some great weekday business on what is arguably the last mass-appealing animated pic of the summer. The threequel is no doubt bound to be more profitable than its predecessor, which reaped $159.5M in black ink off a $473.2M WW box office. What Sony has pulled off here with HT3 that is admirable and commercially great for the franchise is that they’ve shown that they can play the Halloween-ish property, normally a staple at the autumn B.O., during the summer months.
'Hotel Transylvania 4' To Open Doors Christmas Season 2021
“There are challenges when moving from September to summer, but the concept of the movie — monsters on vacation — is a multi-generational one that really works for this season,” said Josh Greenstein, president of Sony worldwide marketing and distribution.
In regards to the destruction of Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper, we detailed extensively in our previous post what went down here. But overall, chalk it up to a tired Die Hard redux, plus the fact that we’ve seen a lot of Johnson in the last six months, with Jumanji and Rampage grossing a total combined of $1.4 billion at the global B.O. In addition, HT3 and the second weekend of Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp at $28.8M also steam-rolled over Skyscraper‘s opening.
HT3, with its Sandler-esque sense of humor (he co-wrote the second chapter and served as EP on the first two pics) already has a built-in audience. The threequel skewed more older than the second (meaning the fans grew up) at 57% over 25 to 48% over 25, meaning it plays to that older Pixar-fan crowd; the pic isn’t just intended for ‘hand-holder’ crowds (meaning very young kids). HT3 was female-driven (or mom-driven) just like HT2, 63% to 38% males. Under-18 here, who gave it a solid A, was 36% to HT2‘s 45% (A-). The under-25 demo on HT3 also gave the Genndy Tartakovsky-directed movie a solid A, up from their grade for HT2, which was an A-.
Similar to HT2, Hispanic audiences were a vital quadrant to the success of HT3. This time around Sony ran a custom promotion across Univision, celebrating summer vacation with the threequel and Drac’s Pack through high-impact executions in key, relevant programming. Elements included custom “Monster Cruise” and “Monster Match” vignettes with network talent interacting with the pic’s characters in animated settings. Also, weekly in-show Despierta America segments showcased fun vacation packing and dance-off challenges over the last month, as well as testimonials urging viewers to go out and see the movie with their whole family.
There were custom TV spots for the Royal Wedding, Father’s Day, World Cup (Spanish spot), Memorial Day, and Fourth of July. The campaign also played on the Friday the 13th release date.
Other fun stunts included a summer dance craze with HOTEL DANCE-ylvania routine, choreographed to the pic’s “Float Dance Mix” song. The broadcast debut of this ran on NBC’s World of Dance, with last season’s champions/contestants (Les Twins, Diana Pombo, Fik-Shun) busting moves inspired by Drac’s Pack. There were also bonus airings across Bravo, E! & USA. There was also A Hotel DANCE-ylvania vignette featuring Lil Dee Dee & friends that aired on Cartoon Network.
Other highlights from this weekend: Annapurna’s Sorry to Bother You broke into the top 10 in 7th place with a fantastic $4.3M in its expansion from 16 runs to 805. Current box office through 10 days is $5.3M. Best quads for the Boots Riley-directed pic were 25-35 year olds, who gave the pic a 78% overall positive in the top two boxes and a 56% recommend. African-American audiences graded the pic a 74% positive, with a 58% recommend. A great screen average here of $5,2K for a release in 805 venues.
A24’s Eighth Grade from comedian Bo Burnham, as anticipated, scored the best per screen of the year to date with $63K besting Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs’ $60K. Weekend haul for Eighth Grade was $252K at four New York and LA sites. Critics gave the movie a 99% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes responding to Elsie Fisher’s star-making lead performance and Josh Hamilton’s supportive turn as the befuddled dad in a story that city audiences found quite relatable about middle school.
Studio reported estimates as of Sunday morning:
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