Weekend Box Office (September 25 - 27, 2015)

by Sujit Chawla

THIS WEEKEND A new September record was set by a sequel to the previous September record, while two other debuts had very different results.

Three years ago this weekend, Hotel Transylvania set a new opening weekend record for the month of September with $42.5M on its way to a surprising $148.3M final domestic run ($358.4 worldwide). Sony looked at the family marketplace and very smartly opened up Hotel Transylvania 2 on the same weekend this year and set yet another September record, this time grossing an estimated $47.5M from 3,754 theaters for a per screen average of $12,653, just a hair below the original's $12,697 average. Sequels tend to have front-loaded opening weekends so part 2 will have a hard time reaching the heights of part 1, however, there are no other similar family films hitting theaters until The Peanuts Movie on November 6th, so unless Pan or Goosebumps bring in a family crowd, Hotel Transylvania 2 could do reasonably well. Audiences liked what they saw giving the film an A- CinemaScore.

Director Nancy Meyers returned to the big screen for the first time in six years with the Anne Hathaway/Robert De Niro comedy The Intern which grossed an estimated $18.2M this weekend from 3,306 theaters for a per screen average of a solid $5,514. Meyers has a very strong track record as a director, even if she's better known as a writer. Of her six directorial films, three of them have grossed over $100M, including her last trip to theaters, It's Complicated which made $112.7M over the Christmas holidays of 2009. In fact her previous four films opened during the month of December where films tend to have longer legs so The Intern may not hit the same numbers but should still have a solid run. Audiences liked what they saw here too giving the film an A- CinemaScore.

Last weekend's number one film, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, fell a reasonable 54% to an estimated $14M bringing its total to $51.7M. Look for a final in the $85M range which would come up a little short of the original's $102M total from last year. The mountain thriller Everest added nearly 2,500 screens and jumped one spot to number four this weekend with an estimated $13M, bringing its total up to $23M. Its per screen average fell nearly 68% from last weekend. Rounding out the top five was the Johnny Depp-led Black Mass which slipped 49% from last weekend to an estimated $11.5M, bringing its total up to $42.6M. Look for a finale in the $70M unless a lot of awards buzz start to hit.

In its third weekend the M. Night Shyamalan horror flick The Visit scared up another $6.75M, according to estimates, bringing its cume up to $52M. Seventh place belonged to the dramatic thriller The Perfect Guy which brought in another $4.75M this weekend, bringing its total to $49M. The surprise hit of the season, War Room continued its strong run slipping only 31% in its fifth weekend to an estimated $4.3M bringing its total to an impressive $56M on an estimated $3M budget.

The horror film The Green Inferno from director Eli Roth debuted poorly in ninth place taking in an estimated $3.5M from 1,540 theaters for a per screen average of $2,269. As much as you see Roth's name I was a little surprised to realize that this is only his fourth feature film as a director and his first since 2007's Hostel Part II. 2003's Cabin Fever was a cult favorite, opening to $8.6M and ending with $21M, while his biggest film was 2006's Hostel which opened to $19.5M and finished with $47M. Hostel Part II was a bit of a disappointment opening with $8.2M on its way to a $17.6M finale. The Green Inferno might be able to make back its estimated $6M budget, but don't expect too much more as audiences gave the film a very poor C- CinemaScore rating. Roth will next be in theaters in a couple of weeks with the Keanu Reeves thriller Knock Knock.

Rounding out the top 10 was critical darling Sicario which expanded into 59 theaters and grossed an estimated $1.77M for a per screen average of an astounding $30,000. Its total now stands at $3.5M and the film goes into wide release next weekend.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $125.3M which was up 30.6% from last year when The Equalizer opened at number one with $34.1M; and up 36.9% from 2013 when another animated sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, debuted in the top spot with $34M.

Compared to projections, both Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern came in ahead of Gitesh's respective $38M and $14M forecasts. The Green Inferno came in just about on target with his $4M prediction.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

For a review of The Final Girls visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Martian sets its sights on the October record of $55.8M set by Gravity two years ago.

# Title Sep 25 - 27 Sep 18 - 20 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Hotel Transylvania 2 $ 48,464,322 3,754 1 $ 12,910 $ 48,464,322 Sony
2 The Intern 17,728,313 3,305 1 5,364 17,728,313 Warner Bros.
3 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 14,271,777 30,316,510 -52.9 3,792 2 3,764 51,957,349 Fox
4 Everest 13,242,895 7,222,035 83.4 3,006 2 4,405 23,282,700 Universal
5 Black Mass 11,031,215 22,635,037 -51.3 3,188 2 3,460 42,129,394 Warner Bros.
6 The Visit 6,674,280 11,566,400 -42.3 2,967 3 2,250 52,184,860 Universal
7 The Perfect Guy 4,774,505 9,751,801 -51.0 1,889 3 2,528 48,895,640 Sony
8 War Room 4,242,644 6,215,991 -31.7 1,920 5 2,210 55,967,325 Sony
9 The Green Inferno 3,520,626 1,540 1 2,286 3,520,626 BH Tilt
10 Sicario 1,717,301 401,288 327.9 59 2 29,107 2,297,895 Lionsgate
11 A Walk in the Woods 1,107,264 2,808,717 -60.6 1,385 4 799 27,327,638 Broad Green
12 Pawn Sacrifice 1,005,071 202,053 397.4 781 2 1,287 1,300,189 Bleecker St.
13 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 901,617 2,213,360 -59.3 840 9 1,073 193,455,919 Paramount
14 Pixels 783,712 708,243 10.7 503 10 1,558 77,240,517 Sony
15 Grandma 773,130 1,501,101 -48.5 804 6 962 5,134,711 Sony Classics
16 Straight Outta Compton 657,910 1,907,980 -65.5 609 7 1,080 160,206,040 Universal
17 Lost in Hong Kong 537,736 27 1 19,916 537,736 Well Go USA
18 Captive 507,370 1,393,243 -63.6 807 2 629 2,288,046 Paramount
19 Minions 436,020 986,960 -55.8 507 12 860 333,519,195 Universal
20 Jurassic World 390,450 636,480 -38.7 347 16 1,125 650,442,740 Universal
Top 5 $ 104,738,522 $ 81,491,783 28.5
Top 10 125,667,878 96,138,932 30.7
Top 20 132,768,158 105,632,086 25.7
Top 20 vs. 2014 132,768,158 102,779,603 29.2

Last Updated: September 27, 2015 at 3:15PM ET

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