'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Looper' lead a strong box office weekend

hotel-transylvania2.jpg"Hotel Transylvania" set a record for movies opening in September and helped the box office get healthy again after three weekends of weak returns.

The animated comedy pulled in $43 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates, blowing away the previous record for a September opening. The old mark was $35.6 million, set by "Sweet Home Alabama" 10 years ago.

The time-travel thriller "Looper" also performed strongly, making an estimated $21.2 million for the weekend. Overall, the box office returns are up more than 40 percent over last weekend and about 18 percent over a year ago.

A couple of limited releases also performed well. "Pitch Perfect" played in only 335 theaters, but it made better than $5 million and had the weekend's highest per-screen average at $15,560. It goes wider next week.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," meanwhile, expanded from four to 102 screens and made $1.1 million, with a per-screen average of better than $11,000.

The only real downer of the week was new release "Won't Back Down." The drama starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal made only $2.7 million and finished in 10th place.

The weekend's Top 10 movies:

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," $7.15 million
6. "Pitch Perfect," $5.2 million
7. "Finding Nemo 3D," $4.1 million
8. "Resident Evil: Retribution," $3 million
9. "The Master," $2.75 million
10. "Won't Back Down," $2.7 million
Photo/Video credit: Sony Pictures
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