Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 2' Biting Off Record $46M-$48M Debut

Hotel Transylvania 2 Trailer H 2015
Sony Pictures Animation/Screenshot

Hotel Transylvania 2 Trailer H 2015

Elswhere, Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro's 'The Intern' is a solid No. 2, while 'Everest' expands nationwide and 'Sicario' continues to thrive at the specialty box office.

In a needed win for Sony, Hotel Transylvania 2 is on course for the biggest September opening for any film, earning an estimated $13.3 million Friday for a projected North American debut of $46 million-$48 million from 3,754 theaters.

Transylvania 2, which features a voice cast including Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and Keegan-Michael Key, is benefiting from being the first major studio animated title since Minions, which opened in July. The previous record-holder for top September debut was the first Hotel Transylvania ($42.5 million).

The sequel earned a promising A- CinemaScore and, in another record, is the best start for a Sony animation title.

Director Nancy Meyers’ The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, is also looking like a solid swing, thanks to older females and males. Intern came in No. 2 Friday with $6.2 million for an expected $18 million-$19 million weekend, one of the better openings for the filmmaker.

The Intern, playing in 3,305 locations and earning an A- CinemaScore, stars Hathaway as a young executive who hires an older man to be her intern.

Universal's adventure film Everest expanded into a total of 3,006 theaters on Friday after a limited 3D engagement last weekend in Imax and premium large-format theaters. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, Everest, grossed $4 million Friday for an expected $11 million-$12 million weekend, behind expectations.

Everest, an action-adventure recounting two climbing expeditions left stranded atop the world's highest mountain in 1996, grossed $4 million Friday to tie with Fox holdover Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials for No. 3. Scorch Trials, however, is expected to pull ahead with $13 million for the weekend.

Also opening this weekend is Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, which is being released via Blumhouse's new label BH Tilt, which hopes to avoid a big marketing spend by opening genre fare in targeted theaters.

In this case, Green Inferno is only opening in 1,500 locations. The film, Roth's first directorial effort in eight years, grossed $1.5 million Friday for a projected $3.5 million-$4 million debut.

Filmed in Chile, Green Inferno, which made its world premiere two years ago at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, follows a group of college students who travel to the Amazon jungle, only to be taken prisoner by the indigenous tribe they have come to save.

At the specialty box office, Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed crime-thriller Sicario continues to score as it expands into a total of 59 theaters in its sophomore outing after first launching in Los Angeles and New York last weekend. The Lionsgate is even cracking the top 10 despite its nominal location footprint. On Friday, the awards hopeful grossed $550,838 for a projected $1.7 million weekend.

Edward Zwick's Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire as chess champion Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as his Russian rival, Boris Spassky, is likewise expanding in its second weekend, but far more aggressively. The drama, from Bleecker Street, is expected to earn north of $900,000 from from 781 locations, a disappointed showing.

Openings at the specialty box office include Ramin Bahrani's financial drama 99 Homes, starring Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern, which Broad Green goes out with in two theaters in New York for an expected weekend take of roughly $28,000 and location average of $14,000.

Sept. 25, 1:00 p.m. Updated with weekend estimates.

Sept. 26, 8 a.m. Updated with Friday number and revised weekend estimates.