LOS ANGELES — “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” has checked into the No. 1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend and left the Dwayne Johnson action thriller, “Skyscraper,” in the dust.

Sony Pictures estimated Sunday that the animated family movie earned $44.1 million from North American theaters. As the first in the franchise to open in the summer, it’s just slightly under the previous installment’s $48.5 million debut in September 2015.

Worldwide, “Hotel Transylvania 3” has already earned more than $100 million.

“It’s really terrific,” said Adrian Smith, Sony’s head of domestic distribution. “We’re positioned to take advantage of the valuable summer weekdays and there are six weeks of summer left.”

The successful series has grossed over $900 million worldwide to date.

Going into the weekend, experts expected a three-way race to the top among “Hotel Transylvania 3,” “Skyscraper” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” but the family film won by a large margin.

“There haven’t been a lot of options for families this summer,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “They become instant hits.”

Johnson’s “Skyscraper,” a rare original summer blockbuster, remained earthbound in its first weekend in North America. The Universal Pictures film brought in only $25.5 million domestically. “Skyscraper” cost a reported $125 million to produce, not accounting for marketing costs.

Johnson has been a consistent presence in movie theaters this year with both “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Rampage” prior to “Skyscraper.” Both previous films opened in the $35 million range, and while “Jumanji” went on to be a worldwide box office juggernaut, “Rampage” petered out domestically at just under $100 million. As with “Rampage,” however, the studio is expecting the majority of “Skyscraper” profits to come from international audiences.

“‘Skyscraper’ is really engineered for a global release and it got a terrific start,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.

– From news service reports


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