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'Skyscraper' collapses as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' lures family audiences to summer box office

'Skyscraper' collapses as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' lures family audiences to summer box office
"Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," the latest in the spooky cartoon comedy franchise, came in above expectations with $44.1 million, the second strongest debut for a film in the series to date. (Sony Pictures Animation via AP)

Dwayne Johnson’s burly action hero was no match for a computer-animated Count Dracula at the box office this weekend.

Sony's "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" debuted in first place with $44.1 million, according to figures from measurement firm ComScore.

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The latest in the animated "Hotel Transylvania" series, the cartoon comedy came in above analysts' predictions of $35 million in the U.S. and Canada, the second-highest opening for the franchise to date. "Hotel Transylvania" opened with $42 million in 2012 and its sequel opened with $48 million in 2015. Each film in the series cost about $80 million to produce.

The film, which follows the series' computer-animated monsters onto a luxury cruise ship, earned an A- rating on CinemaScore and a 60% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In second place, Disney's "Ant-Man and The Wasp," now in its second weekend, added $28.4 million in ticket sales (a 62% drop) for a cumulative $132.8 million.

Legendary Entertainment and Universal Pictures' "Skyscraper" opened in third place with $25.5 million.

The Dwayne Johnson-led action movie, which cost an estimated $125 million to make, came in under analyst projections of $30 million to $35 million.

Johnson plays a U.S. veteran and security consultant tasked with saving his family from a burning 240-story building. The film earned a B+ rating on CinemaScore and a 51% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Because Johnson is popular with international audiences, especially in China, the film is expected to garner the bulk of its box office outside of North America. "Skyscraper," which opens in China on July 20, earned $40.4 million internationally for a global cumulative of $65.9 million.

"That's Dwayne Johnson's bread and butter," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore, of Johnson’s international appeal. "'Rampage' earned three times more internationally than in North America. Just before that you had 'Jumanji,' which performed really well. The output of Dwayne Johnson movies have come, no pun intended, fast and furious over the past year or more."

Disney's "Incredibles 2" came in at No. 4, adding $16.2 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $535.8 million.

Rounding out the top five, Universal's "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" added $15.5 million in its fourth week for a cumulative $363.3 million.

In limited release, Annapurna Pictures' "Sorry To Bother You," which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, added 789 locations (for a total of 805) and earned $4.2 million in its second weekend for a cumulative $5.3 million.

"'Sorry to Bother You' may be the unsung hero of the weekend," said Dergarabedian. "Annapurna did a really good job of nurturing that film in the heat of the summer and it worked out really well."

The acclaimed indie satire, directed by musician Boots Riley, is about a black telemarketer whose "white voice" allows him to advance quickly in the oppressive company he works for. Last week the film opened in 16 theaters and grossed a promising $727,000.

Another Sundance premiere title, A24’s "Eighth Grade," opened on four screens with $252,284, a per-screen average of $63,071, the best of the year.

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Amazon Studios' "Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot," which also premiered at Sundance, had a so-so debut gross of $83,120 (a per-screen average of $20,780), also from four theaters.

Two more of the year's hot Sundance titles significantly increased their theater counts this weekend to mixed results.

NEON's breakout documentary "Three Identical Strangers" continues to impress with $1.2 million from just 170 theaters and outgrossed the weekend take of Bleecker Street's critically acclaimed drama "Leave No Trace," which expanded into 311 theaters and brought in $1.1 million.

Next week, Sony/Columbia premieres the thriller "The Equalizer 2," BH Tilt drops the thriller "Unfriended: Dark Web" and Universal opens the musical "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!" In limited release, Lionsgate debuts the comedy/drama "Blindspotting."

1:15 p.m.: This post was updated to include comments from Paul Dergarabedian.

11:18 a.m.: This was post was updated with box office figures for "Don't Worry He Won't get Far on Foot," "Three Identical Strangers," "8th Grade" and "Leave No Trace."

This post was originally published at 9:25 a.m.

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