Today in Maybe We Can Have Nice Things? news, Looper earned an estimated $21.2 million domestically on a $30 million budget in its debut weekend, proving that original sci-fi is still a good bet, provided it’s good and you keep the budget modest. But take all those good vibes with a grain of farts, as the Adam Sandler-produced Hotel Transylvania earned $43 million, the best ever for a September opening, and second best for a Sandler movie. The best Sandler debut was, strangely, The Longest Yard. I don’t think I know anyone who’s seen that movie. Overall, the top 12 was up 21 percent from last year.
There was a feeling that Sandler’s brand was weakened following the underwhelming performance of Jack and Jill ($74.2 million) and the disastrous run of That’s My Boy ($36.9 million), but that appears to have been overblown. The product, not Sandler, is to blame there: the obnoxious trailers for Jack and Jill never made the movie seem remotely worthwhile, while the R-rated That’s My Boy wasn’t made for Sandler’s family audience. Even though it was animated, Hotel Transylvania‘s mix of slapstick humor, outlandish characters, mildly rude jokes and funny voices fit perfectly in to the Sandler brand, which is clearly alive and well. [BoxOfficeMojo]
But does it really count as a Sandler movie if Sandler’s face isn’t actually in the movie or marketing? It’s a kids movie. No one ever doubted Sandler could do silly voices. As for “the product” being to blame… well, yeah, duh. It’s not like people had some vendetta against Sandler the man, it was more the utterly lazy swill he was constantly pumping out, that the masses finally started to get tired of after like 15 years. Nocturnal like a bat, hurp durp (the f*ck does that even mean?).
Meanwhile, if you count Looper‘s $24 million opening in China (it was actually a co-production with China’s DMG entertainment), it comes close to topping Hotel Trans worldwide (final numbers aren’t in yet). I guess if you’re not changing an invading force to North Koreans to please them, making a karate movie about kung fu, or putting Jaden Smith in movies, Chinese co-productions might not be such a bad thing. I might have been too hasty after I let my kids watch a contaminated Chinese version of Milk. (*dodges egg roll*)