Hotel Transylvania has claimed the box office this weekend, its timely release preparing us for Halloween month as September wraps up with a spark to the recently struggling box office. If you think you couldn’t stand there’s been nothing good out there, imagine being me, and having to write about it. Hah.

Anyways, the true surprise this weekend was Looper’s financial adequacy with the support of literally near-flawless reviews. Let’s face it, time travel is one of the most overused science fiction plots of all time, and with all the plot holes it faces, you’re mostly counting on audience interest in the Willis and Gordon-Levitt.

Yet it still is being hailed as a triumph of science fiction, another Inception of sorts, really. Last week I assumed Looper would have no trouble at all taking the box office, but it mostly seems to have gone unnoticed, and made me look bad. Maybe hype raised expectations too high. Maybe it isn’t actually all that great, really, or Halloween approaching fueled the interest.

But the bottom line is, most everyone leaped back to the box office, at least, and it was the kids that ultimately won. I went ahead and underestimated animation domination. Hotel Transylvania actually has some interesting names to it. True, it also has Gomez, but still, mostly interesting names attached.

Adam Sandler and Kevin James sorely need the boost, since their latest films have not been smash hits, per se. Here Comes the Boom probably won’t steal the box office on the twelfth. Animated is a good way to go, since it’s a sure win 95% of the time. You have to make something quite terrible to fail as an animated film.

Frankenweenie is just going to dethrone Hotel anyways. Tim Burton’s latest, even though it looks like his first, or second, or third, or everything preceding it, has also released in October rather than on Christmas, which is when many horror films typically like to ironically open on. Seriously, what family goes to the theater on Christmas? (No offense to readers that do).

And then Taken 2 will give Looper a run for its money. Maybe Looper just has to find its audience. Some movies need time. But Taken 2 already has an audience, and even if it becomes just another action film, Liam Neeson’s character brings a lot more to the table than Gordon-Levitt’s exhausting everyman façade.

Weekend Results

1.) Hotel Transylvania (Sony): Opening weekend, with $43 million.

2.) Looper (TriS): Opening weekend, with $21.2 million.

3.) End of Watch (ORF): Second weekend, with $8 million.

4.) Trouble with the Curve (WB): Second weekend, with $7.5 million.

5.) House at the End of the Street (Rela.): Second weekend, with $7.1 million.

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