‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ Is A Monster Success And Adam Sandler’s Biggest Debut In Years

Hotel Transylvania 2 is turning out to be more than just an animated monster movie, but a monster of a success, as well. The sequel to the hit 2012 animated movie from Adam Sandler and Sony Pictures Animation is on track to have a huge debut opening this weekend. This would be a much-needed win for the struggling comedian and Sony, as well.

Despite strong competition from The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Deadline reports Hotel Transylvania 2 is on pace to earning a monster $46 million or higher by the end of its first weekend. And if moviegoers continue to check in, this will beat Hotel Transylvania’s $43 million its first weekend in 2012, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

However, HT2 ran passed The Maze Runner sequel, which ended up at No. 3 on Friday and bested the Robert De Niro-Anne Hathaway romantic comedy The Intern, which took No. 2.

This is good news for Sony, as this will mark their biggest opening this year and biggest ever for Sony Animation. Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, was thrilled with the news.

“This is an absolutely stunning result from a beloved franchise and it has been a labor of love for all levels of the company starting with Sony Chairman Tom Rothman through to Sony Animation President Kristine Belson to Josh Greenstein’s marketing and distribution team. They really brought this film to the next level. It’s not often that a sequel exceeds the opening of the first title the way this one has.”

Since the successful opening weekends of Open Season and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Sony has since made it a habit to release animated films in late September. To capitalize on that, the Hotel Transylvania 2 release this weekend was no different and is achieving similar box office success.

Grown Ups, which earned $162 million domestically at the box office, was Sandler’s last successful live-action movie, and the first Hotel Transylvania animated movie almost topped it with $148 million in earnings. Regardless, he has since been struggling with a series of other movie flops.

Just this past summer, Pixels, another animated project, took a beating at the box office, earning just $76.5 million while spending a reported $88 million to make the movie.

Should the HT2 box office numbers hold up, this could be Sandler’s second-highest grossing movie, after The Longest Yard from 2005, and quite possibly the best opening weekend for any film in his career.

Hotel Transylvania 2 has the usual Adam Sandler entourage. Sandler himself voices Dracula, while Kevin James is Frankenstein, Steve Buscemi is Wayne the Werewolf, and David Spade plays Griffin the Invisible Man.

Other voices in the film include Selena Gomez as Mavis (Dracula’s daughter) and Keegan-Michael Key voicing Murray the Mummy. Also, Mel Brooks makes a surprise appearance as the voice of Vlad, Dracula’s father.

In the first Hotel Transylvania, Dracula opened the hotel as a safe place for his other monster pals, as well as to protect his young daughter, Mavis, from the cruel human world. HT2 pretty much starts where the first one leaves off. Dracula now has a grandson, Dennis, who was born to Mavis and her human husband, Johnny (Adam Sandberg).

Dennis is left with Dracula while Mavis and Johnny are away to visit her in-laws. Since Dennis is part human, Dracula wants to ensure Dennis learns the ways of monstering. So, he enlists the help of his supernatural friends and goes on a road trip to help Dennis discover his monster heritage.

Despite some early critical reviews of Hotel Transylvania 2 as having an undeveloped story line and lacking creativity, the box office receipts say something different. The film has a decent, simple plot for kids to follow, and is just sweet enough for the adults to enjoy, as well. It easily keeps the kids entertained with its sight gags and funny references while, at the same time, throws in a few jokes that only the adults will understand.

With the unexpected success of the first Hotel Transylvania and the potential success of its sequel, is it possible we will see HT3 in the works soon from Sony Animation and Adam Sandler?

[Photo by Rich Polk / Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment]