Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scream Team Score: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Opens Strong

Sony Animation's latest, the sequel to their biggest non-sequel film, has expectedly opened very, very well...

Despite some low expectations (sites predicted that the film would make around $35 million this weekend), Hotel Transylvania 2 - with a $13 million opening day haul - is set to make over $48 million for the weekend. The biggest for Sony Animation, and the biggest for a September release, period. The record was previously held by the first film...

Now that's not much of a jump ahead of the original's $42 million opening, as some animated sequels stay flat. Rio 2's opening was on par with Rio's, for example. Once in a while you get an animated sequel that leaps ahead of its predecessor, like Toy Story 2 or Shrek 2 or Despicable Me 2. This opening shows that the first film was leggy and is still fresh, plus the marketing did well. Sony Animation, smartly conservative as ever with budgets, spent $80 million on this film. Outside of Sony Animation's own (well, sort of) Goosebumps next month, it has a lot of weeks to itself and has a lot of room to breathe before Halloween.

Anyways, regardless of whether the film is good or not (I've heard mixed things, not unlike the first film, which I found mostly forgettable), I'm happy because director Genndy Tartakovsky has yet another hit on his hands. Hopefully he goes full steam ahead with his original Can You Imagine?, as he is probably treated like a king at the studio. I don't see why not, for the first Hotel Transylvania is Sony Animation's biggest film domestically. If anything he deserves carte blanche for his future projects, but we know how it works in movieland. The previous Sony Pictures administration bluntly downed Popeye, I have no idea how the new one (under the notoriously filmmaker-unfriendly Tom Rothman) is operating, so we'll see...

Sony Animation, interestingly, isn't "crank 'em out" like other animation studios. They'll sit years out, sometimes they'll release two a year after a long wait. They pace themselves. It's good to see them hanging in there, as they are smart with budgets and turn out very good-looking work without having to spend the amounts Disney Animation, Pixar, and DreamWorks spend. They've got talent like Tartakovsky, Lauren Faust, Timothy Reckart, and have had the likes of Phil Lord/Christopher Miller, Chris Buck, and Anthony Stacchi direct for them. With some neat-sounding projects, it seems like they have a good future!

Also, this success once again proves... You can open a family film any time of the year, and if people of all ages (not just the kiddies, ya know) like what they see from the ads, they'll go and see it. Enough said!

What do you think of Hotel Transylvania 2 doing very well? Do you think Genndy Tartakovsky will move forward with Can You Imagine? afterwards? Sound off below!

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