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    Box-Office Shocker: Hollywood Releases Movies People Want to See—Hotel Transylvania, Looper, Pitch Perfect!

    Looper, Hotel Translyvania, Pitch Perfect Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures

    Snapping a cold spell that stretched back months, the box office got hot with big—and bigger-than-expected—debuts.

    The Adam Sandler- and Selena Gomez-voiced Hotel Transylvania smashed records for September, the Bruce Willis-Joseph Gordon-Levitt time-travel flick Looper made very good on its Hollywood-cheap budget and, a week before it's due to open wide, the choral comedy Pitch Perfect crashed the Top 10. 

    So, no, The Dark Knight Rises won't be the last hit movie ever produced.

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    With a $43 million Friday-Sunday, per estimates, Hotel Transylvania is the top-grossing No. 1 film since DKR, which opened in mid-July.

    The animated-family movie is the biggest September release since Reese Witherspoon's decade-old Sweet Home Alabama bowed with nearly $36 million.

    Hotel Transylvania additionally set the new record for biggest single September day, with a $19 million Saturday. (The former high mark, of $14.7 million, also was held by Sweet Home Alabama.)

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    Looper bowed with $21.2 million, a steep upgrade over Gordon-Levitt's late-summer miss, Premium Rush, and not far off from Willis' late-summer hit, The Expendables 2.

    Unlike the latter film's nine-figure budget, Looper reportedly was made for just $30 million.

    Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick, opened eyes with a $5.2 million take from just 335 theaters. Its per-screen average of $15,560 was the fattest of any film, in wide or limited release, reporting grosses on Sunday to the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. The reportedly $17 million film is scheduled to hit 2,800 screens this coming Friday. 

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    Overall, ticket sales were up a whopping 44 percent from last weekend and about 20 percent from last year, per Exhibitor Relations.

    Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master ($2.7 million from 856 locations) continued to impress, as did Emma Watson's The Perks of Being a Wallflower ($1.1 million from 102 locations).

    Missing out on the fun: Won't Back Down. The charter-school drama/awards-season hopeful with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis flopped in its debut, grossing just $2.7 million at more than 2,500 theaters.

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    Dredd 3D, meanwhile, served as a reminder of Hollywood's recent dog days. In its second week, the sci-fi redo tumbled from the Top 10, averaging less than $1,000 from each of its theaters. To date, the $50 million movie has made about $21 million worldwide, per BoxOfficeMojo.com.

    Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:

    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, $2.7 million
    10. Won't Back Down, $2.7 million

    Fall movies at a glance

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