The critics may not be loving it, but US audiences clearly are; Sony Pictures Animation's Genndy Tartakovsky-directed Hotel Transylvania has done the studio proud on its tenth anniversary, opening to an astonishing (estimated) $43 million!
The studio's seventh film (including two Aardman releases, Arthur Christmas and The Pirates! in an Adventures with Scientists) sits at a lukewarm 42% on Rotten Tomatoes, but has raked in over a million dollars for every one of those percent at the US box office, placing it in the number 1 spot this weekend. Hotel T is the studio's strongest opener (far surpassing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' previous record of $30.3 million), and, if it proves to have reasonable legs, it could be the studio's highest grossing film yet! The film has also raked in $8.1 million from foreign territories.
Second place this weekend goes to another Sony pic, Rian Johnson's acclaimed sci-fi actioner, Looper, with $21.2 million (again, estimated). Looper boasts a cast including Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, while Hotel T has the more youth-friendly line-up of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez.
In spite of the negative reviews, it seems audiences are really taking to Sony's monster-flick (of course, the timing isn't bad either, with Halloween just around the corner). Speaking from an outside perspective, having not seen the film yet (it doesn't open here until 12th October), I think what's resonating with audiences is exactly what's putting critics off: it doesn't take itself too seriously. Hotel T looks like fun for the sake of fun, with not too much focus on emotional twists - the 'Art of' book stated that they repeatedly chose to forego solemn moments in favour of comedy. Jerry Beck says it best, that Hotel T is a "full “cartoon” feature"; just look how perfectly poised and considered the animation is! Genndy Tartakovsky's stylised cartoon style is here in abundance!
Seen Hotel Transylvania? What did you think? Let us know below!
Stats via Box Office Mojo.