'Hotel Transylvania 2' far surpasses expectations at domestic box office: Adam Sandler a hit when heard but not seen
Adam Sandler has been having his share of domestic box office flops lately. Chris Columbus' Pixels, which opened in late July to scathing reviews and indifferent audiences, was the latest one: a reported $88 million production (plus marketing and distribution expenses) that earned $76.67 million in the U.S. and Canada (plus an estimated $145.1 million elsewhere). But now comes the Sony Pictures release Hotel Transylvania 2, the concisely titled sequel to the late Sept. 2012 hit Hotel Transylvania.
The report adds that some “rival studio box office analysts” believe Hotel Transylvania 2 may actually pass the $50 million mark. On Friday, Sept. 25, '15, it collected a better than expected (estimated) $13.5 million.
September domestic box office record?
Either way, Hotel Transylvania 2 will beat the official September opening weekend box office record for a North American release, surpassing its predecessor's $42.52 million from 3,349 venues.
That is, unless one takes into account a little something called inflation. As any box office journalist should, lest their reporting be perceived as part of the studios' movie marketing campaign.
According to inflation-adjusted figures – which better reflect actual ticket sales – found at Box Office Mojo, even if it debuts with $50 million Hotel Transylvania 2 will still trail a couple of other movies:
- Brett Ratner's Rush Hour (1998), featuring Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, and Tom Wilkinson. Adjusted domestic opening weekend gross: approx. $59 million.
- Andy Tennant's Sweet Home Alabama (2002), starring Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Candice Bergen, and Mary Kay Place. Adjusted domestic opening weekend gross: approx. $51.5 million.
Bear in mind that neither movie had the box-office-boosting advantage of 3D / PLF surcharges or Thursday evening shows, which has become commonplace these days.
Sun., Sept. 27, update: Hotel Transylvania 2 debuted with an estimated $47.2 million.
Biggest Adam Sandler weekend box office debut ever?
As for Hotel Transylvania 2 becoming the biggest Adam Sandler weekend opening of all time as some are already proclaiming … Well, once again, think inflatedly.
- Frank Coraci's Nov. 1998 release The Waterboy opened with $39.41 – which translates into approx. $70.5 million in 2015 dollars. Adam Sandler was featured opposite Kathy Bates and Fairuza Balk.
- In June 1999, Dennis Dugan's Big Daddy debuted with $41.53 million, or about $68.5 million today. Also in the cast: Rob Schneider and Leslie Mann.
- Peter Segal's The Longest Yard opened with $47.6 million in May 2005, or approx. $62.5 million today. Also in the cast: Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds.
- Another Peter Segal-Adam Sandler collaboration, Anger Management, opened with $42.22 million in April 2003 – or approx. $59 million today. Also in the cast: Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei.
- The Segal-Sandler combo also struck gold with 50 First Dates, a February 2004 release that debuted with $39.85, or approx. $54 million today. Also in the cast: Drew Barrymore.
Click and Mr. Deeds are a couple of other Adam Sandler movies that, once their opening weekend take is adjusted for inflation, debuted with more than $50 million at the North American box office.
It should be noted that Sandler can actually be both heard and seen on screen in the movies listed above.
'Hotel Transylvania 2' cast
Co-written by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel, Hotel Transylvania 2 features the voices of Sandler as Dracula, Andy Samberg as Jonathan, Selena Gomez as Mavis, and Kevin James as Frankenstein. Also in the cast:
Steve Buscemi. David Spade. Keegan-Michael Key. Asher Blinkoff. Fran Drescher. Molly Shannon. Megan Mullally. Nick Offerman. Dana Carvey. Rob Riggle. Mel Brooks. Nick Swardson. Chris Parnell. Jon Lovitz. Robert Smigel.
Dracula and Frankenstein movies
Long before (the voices of) Adam Sandler and Kevin James in Hotel Transylvania 2, Dracula and Frankenstein were played by the likes of:
- Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922).
- Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931).
- Carlos Villarías in Drácula (1931).
- Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939).
- Christopher Lee in Dracula / The Horror of Dracula and numerous variations and spin-offs, e.g., Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972).
- Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein (1974), directed by Hotel Transylvania 2 voice cast member Mel Brooks.
- Klaus Kinski in Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979).
- Frank Langella in Dracula (1979).
- George Hamilton in Love at First Bite (1979).
- Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).
Hotel Transylvania 2 cast info via the IMDb.
Hotel Transylvania 2 trailer and image: Sony Pictures.