Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
September 29, 2012
CGI entry Hotel Transylvania is some big news the box office hasn't seen in a while, taking in a very solid $11 million on Friday. The last several weeks have seen a "niche" project in [tm:5339_]ParaNorman[/tm] and a 3D rerelease in Finding Nemo, so the last new animated entry was July's Ice Age: Continental Drift. It's rare we reach a point where younger audiences are underserved these days, but this is one of those times, and Hotel Transylvania is a big beneficiary.
Perhaps the most surprising box office stat in some time is that a record that has now stood for exactly ten years this weekend is in jeopardy. The record for a September opening weekend is held by Sweet Home Alabama with $35.6 million on this very weekend in 2002. For Hotel Transylvania to match that it would require a multiplier of 3.23, which is entirely reachable. A previous animated September Sony release, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs managed a 3.72 in 2009, while Finding Nemo's 3D rerelease a couple weeks ago earned a 3.3 multiplier, and last month's ParaNorman opened with a 3.06. Hotel Transylvania is more likely to come closer to Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs than ParaNorman, and should have a weekend of $38.1 million, good for the new September opening record.
Time travel thriller Looper starts with $6.9 million on Friday, firmly in second place. Despite the confusing plot, it's a win for both [bp:70_]Bruce Willis[/bp] and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, each of whom are recovering from flops. Outstandingly reviewed, that can only benefit its box office over the remainder of the weekend as it draws in older viewers. Give it a weekend of $21.8 million.
Out of nowhere, and only in 335 theaters this weekend is Pitch Perfect, earning $1.7 million and beating another opener that is in over seven times as many theaters. A comedy about an all-girl college acapella group, the limited release somehow found the right chord (sorry) to easily earn the best per-screen average in the top ten. A weekend of $5 million is a pretty stunning debut and could create some buzz for its wider release next weekend.
[tm:5322_]Won't Back Down[/tm]
Not the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers biopic, teaching drama Won't Back Down is the anti-Pitch Perfect and earns only $1 million in 2515 theaters. Give it $3 million and we'll never hear about it again.
After a photo finish last weekend, [tm:5323_]End of Watch[/tm], [tm:5327_]House at the End of the Street[/tm] and [tm:5324_]Trouble With the Curve[/tm] are all pretty much lumped together again with about $2.4 million each, declining 49%, 50% and 46% from last Friday respectively. The second weekend benefits the non-horror film the most, but all three will still be mostly inseparable when the weekend estimates are in. Give the trio around $7 million a piece, with End of Watch ahead, followed by Clint Eastwood and then the horror movie.