‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ checks in at No. 1, while The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ flames out

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LOS ANGELES – “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” has checked into the No. 1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend and left Dwayne Johnson’s latest action thriller, “Skyscraper,” in the dust.

According to studio estimates on Sunday, the animated family movie starring Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez earned $44.1 million from North American theaters. As the first in the franchise to open in the summer, it’s just slightly under the previous installment’s $48.5 million debut in September 2015.

Worldwide, “Hotel Transylvania 3” has already earned more than $100 million.

“It’s really terrific,” says Adrian Smith, Sony Pictures’ head of domestic distribution. “We’re positioned to take advantage of the valuable summer weekdays and there are six weeks of summer left.”

The successful series has grossed more than $900 million worldwide to date.

It easily beat out The Rock’s “Skyscraper,” which remained earthbound in its first weekend. The over-the-top flick brought in only $25.5 million domestically and cost a reported $125 million to produce.

In “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” Drac (voiced by Adam Sandler) becomes smitten with his cruise ship’s captain, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), who harbors a big secret. SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
Going into the weekend, experts expected a three-way race to the top between “Hotel Transylvania 3,” ”Skyscraper” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” but the family film won by a large margin.

“There haven’t been a lot of options for families this summer,” says comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “They become instant hits.”

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The Rock’s “Skyscraper,” a rare original summer popcorn movie, remained earthbound in its first weekend in North America. The over-the-top flick brought in only $25.5 million domestically and finished third. “Skyscraper” cost a reported $125 million to produce, not accounting for marketing costs.

Johnson has been a consistent presence in movie theaters this year with both “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rampage” prior to “Skyscraper.” While “Jumanji” went on to be a worldwide box-office juggernaut, “Rampage” petered out domestically just under $100 million. As with “Rampage,” however, the studio is expecting the majority of “Skyscraper” profits to come from international audiences.

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) uses a rope to reach a wind turbine 220 stories off the ground in “Skyscraper.”

” ‘Skyscraper’ is really engineered for a global release,” says Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “We have great faith in a more than terrific run going forward.”

Internationally, “Skyscraper” grossed $40.4 million from 57 territories for a global total of $65.9 million.

Second place went to Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which brought in an additional $28.8 million in its second weekend, down 62 percent. It’s one of the steeper second week falls in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first “Ant-Man” fell 53 percent.

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Pixar’s animated sequel “Incredibles 2” took fourth place with $16.2 million and the latest “Jurassic World” movie, “Fallen Kingdom,” rounded out the top five with $15.5 million.

A handful of smaller releases made notable splashes this weekend, including the dystopian satire “Sorry to Bother You,” which added 789 locations this weekend and earned $4.3 million in its expansion, taking the No. 7 spot.

The coming-of-age film “Eighth Grade” also scored top marks, and the highest per theater average of the year, with more than $252,000 from four theaters.

Documentaries continue to perform well, too, including the Fred Rogers film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” which added $1.9 million from 868 theaters, and “Three Identical Strangers,” about triplets separated at birth, which expanded to 167 theaters and grossed $1.2 million.

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