A mighty weekend for Sony saw two of its releases dominate the charts as the session brought in around 20% more than a year ago to end the recent slump.

Hotel Transylvania features the vocal talents of Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Fran Drescher and was the clear leader. The film scored the industry’s biggest single day in September with Saturday’s (29) $19m haul and now ranks as the biggest opening for Sony Pictures Animation, ahead of $35.6m scored by The Smurfs in summer 2011.

Following in second place was an independent success story as Endgame Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt opened through TriStar and FilmDistrict on $21.2m.

Endgame brought in Chinese distributor DMG Entertainment as co-financier and James Stern’s company used its new P&A fund for the first time. Endgame had not confirmed reports at time of writing that Looper generated around $23m in its opening weekend in China.

Full results from China are expected on Tuesday and the industry will toast a milestone if the Chinese co-production does indeed gross more in its opening weekend in China than it does in North America.

Universal’s musical comedy Pitch Perfect with Anna Kendrick opened in sixth place on $5.2m while Fox/Walden’s drama Won’t Back Down starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal opened in tenth place on $2.7m.

In the limited arena, China Lion Film’s Vulgaria grossed $36,000 from 16 theatres and The Other Dream Team opened through The Film Arcade on $22,700 from two for an excellent per-site average.

Next weekend’s wide releases are Buena Vista’s Frankenweenie from Tim Burton and EuropaCorp’s thriller Taken 2 starring Liam Neeson through Fox.

Estimated Top 10 North America Sept 28-30 2012
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Hotel Transylvania (Sony) SPRI $43m –

2 (-) Looper (TriStar) FilmNation $21.2m –

3 (1) End Of Watch (Open Road) Exclusive $8m $26.2m

4 (3) Trouble With The Curve (Warner Bros) WBPI $7.5m $23.7m

5 (2) House At The End Of The Street (Relativity) FilmNation $7.2m $22.2m

6 (-) Pitch Perfect (Universal) UPI $5.2m —

7 (4) Finding Nemo 3D (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $4.1m $36.5m

8 (5) Resident Evil: Retribution (Sony / Screen Gems) SPRI $3m $38.7m

9 (7) The Master (TWC) TWC $2.7m $9.6m

10 (-) Won’t Back Down (Fox) Fox Int’l $2.7m –