'Hotel Transylvania' Checks In With $43M Debut

Adam Sandler arrives at the Los Angeles special screening of 'Hotel Transylvania' held at Pacific Theatre at The Grove on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles Adam Sandler arrives at the Los Angeles special screening of 'Hotel Transylvania' held at Pacific Theatre at The Grove on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles

Adam Sandler’s monster mash-up “Hotel Transylvania” has brought the weekend box office back to life after a late-summer slump.

According to studio estimates Sunday, the animated comedy debuted at No. 1 with $43 million, one of the strongest starts ever for a movie opening in September.

“Hotel Transylvania” set a new high for September debuts in terms of actual dollars, beating the previous record of $35.7 million for 2002’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” But factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Sweet Home Alabama” sold more tickets.

This weekend’s box office was further strengthened by a solid No. 2 debut for Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s time-travel thriller “Looper,” which took in $21.2 million.

Hollywood’s overall grosses rose for the first time in a month compared to the same weekend last year.

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