LOS ANGELES - Adam Sandler's monster mash-up "Hotel Transylvania" has brought the weekend box office back to life after a late-summer slump.
The animated comedy from Sony Pictures debuted at No. 1 with $43 million, one of the strongest starts ever for a movie opening in September, according to studio estimates Sunday.
This weekend's box office was further strengthened by a solid No. 2 debut for another Sony release, Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's time-travel thriller "Looper."
It's rare for one studio to open two wide releases over the same weekend, but Sony had two movies that complemented each other well without overlapping their audiences.
Locking up the family crowds, the PG-rated "Hotel Transylvania" features Sandler providing the voice of Count Dracula as proprietor of a resort catering to Frankenstein, the Wolfman and other monsters.
The R-rated "Looper" pulled in male action fans. Set in 2044, the film stars Gordon-Levitt as a hit man assigned to kill victims sent back in time -- including his future self (Bruce Willis).
In narrower release, Universal Pictures' music tale "Pitch Perfect" opened strongly at No. 6 with $5.2 million. The weekend's other new wide release, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis' school drama "Won't Back Down," came in at No. 10.
Estimated weekend ticket sales:
1. "Hotel Transylvania," $43 million
2. "Looper," $21.2 million
3. "End of Watch," $8 million.
4. "Trouble with the Curve," $7.5 million.
5. "House at the End of the Street," $7.2 million
6. "Pitch Perfect," $5.2 million.
7. "Finding Nemo," $4.1 million
8. "Resident Evil: Retribution," $3 million
9. "The Master," $2.75 million.
10. "Won't Back Down," $2.7 million.