Box Office: Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Skyscraper’ Crushed by ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’

Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Skyscraper’ may have trouble earning much more than $23 million in its domestic launch, while ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ heads for $43 million.

Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper is getting crushed in its U.S box-office debut by animated family film Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, according to early returns.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 could earn as much as $17 million on Friday, including $2.6 million in Thursday-evening previews, for a $43 million weekend debut in North America.

Conversely, Skyscraper may not climb much beyond $8 million for the day and $23 million for the weekend unless the movie rebounds, marking a major disappointment for Johnson and the two studios who made the $129 million action pic, Legendary and Universal. The bad news began Thursday night, when Skyscraper earned a mediocre $1.95 million in previews.

Heading into the weekend, pre-release tracking suggested Skyscraper would clear at least $33 million-plus in its U.S. debut. The action-disaster pic reteams Johnson with his Central Intelligence director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, and is the actor’s fourth movie in a little over a year after Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Rampage. (Baywatch likewise got sunburned in summer 2017 when debuting to $18.5 million.)

Skyscraper‘s Thursday-evening preview performance came in behind Johnson’s action pics Rampage ($2.4 million) and San Andreas ($3.1 million). Rampage, released in April, opened to $35.8 million, while San Andreas impressed with $54.5 million on its first weekend in summer 2015.

Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 has been tracking to open to $38 million-$45 million. The first Hotel Transylvania debuted to $42.5 million, followed by $48.5 million for the sequel. Both launched in September.

Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper will have to contend with holdover Ant-Man and the Wasp, which cleared the $100 million mark at the domestic box office on Thursday, its sixth day in release. The superhero sequel could earn $30 million this weekend, putting it ahead of Skyscraper.

Skyscraper is counting on big returns overseas, where it opens in numerous markets this weekend before unfurling in China on July 20. Rampage earned a mighty $156.4 million in China, almost half of its total foreign haul of $326.1 million. Rampage topped out at $99 million in North America.

Skyscraper stars Johnson as a former FBI hostage rescue team leader now assigned to provide security for a towering skyscraper in China. He must spring into action when his wife (Neve Campbell) and children are trapped inside the world’s tallest building after villains set fire to it. Rawson Marshall Thurber, who made Central Intelligence with Johnson, wrote and directed the pic.

Hotel Transylvania 3 cost a reported $80 million to produce before marketing. Adam Sandler once again voices the role of Dracula, who decides to take a cruise with his pals only to fall in love with the captain of the ship (Kathryn Hahn). She also happens to be a relative and loyal ally of Van Helsing, a notorious vampire hunter. The voice cast also includes Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan and Mel Brooks, with Genndy Tartakovsky directing.

Hotel Transylvania 3 has already begun rolling out overseas, where it has grossed $6 million to date. By this weekend, the film will be playing in nearly 50 percent of the international marketplace.

July 13, 12:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend projections

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