Box Office Preview: 'Hotel Transylvania' Headed for Easy No. 1, 'Looper' Eyes No. 2
The Maggie Gyllenhaal-Viola Davis teacher drama "Won't Back Down" is expecting a soft opening; new specialty offerings include "Pitch Perfect."
Kids pic Hotel Transylvania -- boasting a voice cast led by Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez -- should have no trouble claiming the weekend crown, with sci-fi drama Looper expected to do solid business as well.
The films should help the domestic box office recover from a tough postsummer stretch. Looper, directed by Rian Johnson and receiving stellar reviews, stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.
In an unusual twist, both films are from the Sony family. Hotel Transylvania is a big Sony release, while the studio's TriStar label is releasing Looper in tandem with FilmDistrict and Endgame. (It's the first film for which Endgame has used its P&A fund.)
Conservative estimates show Hotel Transylvania grossing in the $28 million-to-$30 million range, while Looper should land in the high teens.
Prospects for the weekend's third new wide release, the Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis education drama Won't Back Down, aren't as bright. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox and produced by Walden Media, might only gross in the $5 million range.
Won't Back Down, about a parent and teacher's battle to take over a failing public school, has drawn the ire of teachers unions, but overall awareness is still soft.
Specialty openings include Universal's musical comedy Pitch Perfect, about an all-girl a cappella group. The film, whose cast includes Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow, opens Friday in 335 theaters before expanding nationwide Oct. 5.
Universal held its largest-ever word-of-mouth screening program for Pitch Perfect, which it co-financed with Paul Brooks' Gold Circle Films. Brooks produced the film alongside Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman.