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'Hotel Transylvania 2' scheduled for 2015 release

I vant … to suck … your sequel!

Sony Pictures Animation has confirmed that a sequel to its box office vamp hit Hotel Transylvania, aptly titled Hotel Transylvania 2, is scheduled to be released Sept. 25, 2015.

No other details have been announced. Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky is already directing Popeye, set for release September 2014.

Will the first monster hotel flick’s Adam Sandler as Dracula, Selena Gomez as his teen vampire daughter Mavis and Andy Samberg as Mavis’ human love interest Jonathan be back in the sequel? Let’s hope Steve Buscemi voicing a bleary-eyed wolfin dad with too many crazed pups makes another hilarious appearance.

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Clip from new animated short by ‘Hotel Transylvania’ director – EXCLUSIVE
Box office preview: ‘Looper’ and ‘Hotel Transylvania’ check in to theaters

Box office preview: 'Wreck-It Ralph' will take off faster than 'Flight'

Would you look at that? We’ve reached November — the time of year when studios start rolling out their big winter tentpoles — the ones they hope will hold through the holiday season.

The first such film is Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, the buzzy videogame-themed animated flick that the Mouse House is hoping can break the streak of videogame adaptation failures at the box office (Remember Doom, anyone? Neither do we.) and bash the competition to the ground. Also opening is the Denzel Washington drama Flight and the martial arts flick The Man with the Iron Fists.

Here’s how the weekend might play out:

1. Wreck-It Ralph $38 million

Disney’s latest CG animated effort, which centers on a fictional videogame character and other rather recognizable videogame icons, has unsurprisingly garnered massive buzz on the web, where gamers thrive. Still, this won’t be another all-buzz-no-box-office situation like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Disney has aggressively marketed the well-reviewed film, which carried a $165 million budget, and though it may not attract as many girls as some of the more princess-y efforts (I’m guessing it starts lower than Tangled, which debuted with $48 million), boys may be more willing to press ‘Start.’

The last truly mainstream family film to enter theaters was Hotel Transylvania, which began with $42.5 million six weeks ago, so the way is now clear for Wreck-It Ralph to open in the same range. Out in over 3,600 theaters, the big guy could climb all the way to $38 million — but the real story will be how well it can hold up as we movie into the lucrative Thanksgiving frame. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Argo' claims No. 1 with $12.4 million; 'Skyfall' scores $77.7 million overseas

Ben Affleck’s C.I.A. thriller Argo is having quite the box office run.

After debuting at number two with $19.5 million, Warner Bros.’ Oscar contender dropped by just 16 percent last weekend to $16.4 million. This weekend, the film notched yet another impressive achievement: it climbed to number one with an estimated $12.4 million (a 25 percent drop) in its third frame, becoming the first film since True Grit to hop to first place in its third weekend.

Argo, which cost $45 million to make, has now earned $60.8 million total, and thanks to terrific word-of-mouth (the film earned an “A+” CinemaScore grade) and early awards buzz, Argo is eyeing a $100 million finish. Though it is running a tad behind Affleck’s last directorial effort, The Town, which had earned $64.1 million at the same point in its run en route to a $92.2 million finish, Argo is enjoying much better week-to-week holds. (The Town, which opened higher Argo with $23.8 million, fell 38 percent to $9.7 million in its third weekend.) READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Argo' climbs to No. 1 with $4 million on Friday as new releases sputter


Thanks to a weak field of newcomers, Ben Affleck’s Oscar contender Argo led the box office on Friday, the first day of its third weekend.

The Warner Bros. thriller dropped by a slim 21 percent from last Friday, and it now looks headed for about $13 million and its first weekend win, which I predicted heading into the frame. Notably, Sunday show times may be affected by weary East coast ticket buyers who don’t want to venture into the real world on the eve of Frankenstorm, but we’ll have to wait and see if the inclement weather has any real effect. READ FULL STORY

Clip from new animated short by 'Hotel Transylvania' director - EXCLUSIVE

Bigfoot has never looked this sweetly goofy!

Check out this exclusive clip, below, from Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky’s new traditionally animated short Goodnight, Mr. Foot. It precedes digital screenings of the film in Regal Entertainment Group theaters starting today, Friday, just in time for Halloween. In the clip, a grinning, furry, floppy-footed Bigfoot ambles along happy as a clam, rolling a suitcase behind him as he makes his way through pink fields and green oceans to Dracula’s monster resort. The hotel – for monsters ONLY, no humans allowed – is featured in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania, voiced by Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg.


Halloween treat! New animated short by 'Hotel Transylvania' director to show in theaters


Trick-or-treat from the director of Hotel Transylvania!

Just in time for Halloween, a new animated short called Goodnight, Mr. Foot by the film’s director, Genndy Tartakovsky, will precede digital screenings of the box office hit animated flick in Regal Entertainment Group theaters around the country starting Friday, Sony Pictures Animation announced Thursday.

The animated short stars lumbering Bigfoot as he checks into Dracula’s resort, featured in Hotel Transylvania, and meets an energetic witch-maid.  READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Silent Hill' and 'Cloud Atlas' 'Argo'-ing to have trouble topping the Ben Affleck thriller

It’s a three-horse race for the number one spot at the box office this weekend.

Two new wide releases, videogame/horror title Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and heady drama Cloud Atlas, are both hoping for robust debuts, yet Argo, the three week old Ben Affleck drama, may have the best chance at winning the slow October frame. Here’s how the weekend might play out:

1. Argo – $13.5 million

The Ben Affleck-directed Oscar contender fell only 15 percent in its second weekend — a sure sign that the film, which earned an “A+” CinemaScore grade, is benefiting from terrific word-of-mouth. Though Paranormal Activity 4 opened ahead of Argo last weekend, the film took over the top spot on Wednesday, and it may stay there this weekend. Another 15-20 percent drop would give Argo about $13.5 million for the weekend and $62 million total. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Paranormal Activity 4' possesses top spot with $30.2 million despite scary underperformance


First the good news: Paramount’s $5 million found footage horror sequel Paranormal Activity 4 easily led the box office with $30.2 million in its first three days.

Now for the bad news: That’s 43 percent less (i.e. $22.4 million less) than Paranormal Activity 3 earned in its debut frame, and 26 percent less ($10.5 million) than Paranormal Activity 2 managed.

Fortunately for Paramount, the tiny cost of the Paranormal films still make them highly profitable, but the sharp drop off from PA3 to PA4 could spell trouble for the franchise. Paranormal Activity 4, which received a “C” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, has received the worst reviews of any entry in the series, yet Paramount chose to open it earlier than its predecessors. The film was released on Thursday night at 9 p.m. — PA2 and PA3 opened at midnight — and perhaps negative word-of-mouth spread faster and earlier, thus limiting its weekend prospects. Also making matters difficult was direct competition from Sinister, the similarly themed horror title that opened to $18 million last weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Paranormal Activity 4' scares up $15 million on Friday; 'Argo' holds in second


Paranormal Activity 4 may have led the box office on Friday, but it got off to a much slower start than its two most recent predecessors.

Based on midnight showings (well, technically 9:00 pm showings) alone, it was clear that PA4 was headed for a lower-than expected opening frame. The found footage horror film took in $4.5 million on Thursday night, far less than Paranormal Activity 3, which grossed $8 million at midnight on the way to a $52.6 million debut, and Paranormal Activity 2, which earned $6.3 million at midnight on the way to $40.2 million.

Paranormal Activity 4 grossed an estimated $15.0 million on Friday (that includes Thursday night grosses), and since front-loaded horror sequels typically earn about half of their opening weekends on their first Friday (PA3 earned $26.3 million on Friday; PA2 found $20.1 million), the poorly-reviewed film could be looking at a $30 million weekend. While that’s enough to easily win the weekend — not to mention a terrific start for a film that cost Paramount only $5 million — it’s also a rather distressing figure, which suggests that audiences’ interest in the franchise is quickly waning. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Paranormal Activity 4' will haunt the No. 1 spot

As Halloween approaches, the box office is looking frighteningly good.

After three straight weekends of terrific results (thanks to Hotel Transylvania and Taken 2), Paranormal Activity 4 is entering the fray and eyeing a hefty debut. Tyler Perry thriller (yep, you read that right) Alex Cross will also open, and multiple holdovers are set to finish in the double-digit range.

Basically, it should be a busy frame. Here how it might shake out:


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