Hotel Transylvania 2

Hotel Transylvania 2 is a 2015 American 3D computer animated fantasycomedy film. It is the sequel to the 2012 film Hotel Transylvania, with its director, Genndy Tartakovsky, and writer, Robert Smigel, returning for the film. Produced by Sony Pictures Animation, it was animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks,[6] with an additional funding provided by LStar Capital.[7]

Hotel Transylvania 2 takes place seven years after the first film,[8] with the hotel now open to human guests. Mavis and Johnny have a young son named Dennis, whose lack of any vampire abilities worries his grandfather Dracula. When Mavis and Johnny go on a visit to Johnny’s parents, Dracula calls his friends to help him make Dennis a vampire. However, an unexpected visit from Dracula’s old-school human-hating father, Vlad, soon turns things upside-down.

Original voices from the first film—Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon—returned for the sequel, with Keegan-Michael Key replacing CeeLo Green as Murray. New additions to the cast include Mel Brooks as Count Dracula’s father, Vlad; Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally as Jonathan’s parents, Mike and Linda; and Asher Blinkoff as Mavis and Johnny’s half-human/half-vampire son, Dennis. The film was released on September 25, 2015, by Columbia Pictures and received mixed reviews from critics. Despite this mixed reception, Hotel Transylvania 2 set a new box office record for the biggest opening weekend in September with a weekend gross of $48.5 million.

Contents

Plot

A short time after the first film, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her boyfriend Johnny (Andy Samberg) are married, with the approval of her father Dracula (Adam Sandler). A year later, they have a son named Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), who befriends Wayne’s werewolf pup daughter Winnie (Sadie Sandler). Nearing his fifth birthday, Dennis has yet to grow his fangs, which worries Drac that his grandson might not gain vampire powers. Noticing the dangers of Transylvania, Mavis starts to consider raising Dennis where Johnny grew up, much to Drac’s dismay.

By Drac’s suggestion, Mavis and Johnny travel to California to visit the in-laws, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), leaving Drac to babysit Dennis. Drac enlists his friends, Frank (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon) to help train Dennis to become a monster, to no avail. Drac takes Dennis to a summer camp where he learned to hone his vampire abilities, with no results. Desperate, Drac hurls Dennis from a tall, unstable tower to pressure his transformation into a bat, but rescues him at the last second. The stunt is filmed by the campers and uploaded to the internet, which eventually reaches Mavis and Johnny who hurry back to Transylvania. Mavis angrily scolds her father for endangering Dennis and his inability to accept that he is human, promising to move out of the hotel after Dennis’ fifth birthday.

Mavis invites Vlad (Mel Brooks), her grandfather and Drac’s father, to Dennis’ birthday party. To avoid a confrontation, Drac has the partygoers disguised as monsters. Vlad arrives with his monstrous bat-like servant Bela (Rob Riggle) and meets his great-grandson. He believes that fear will cause Dennis’ fangs to sprout and manipulates a stage performer into scaring Dennis, but Drac shields his grandson in the last moment and exposes Vlad, who is outraged that Drac has accepted humans as guests in his hotel.

Mavis is angered by her grandfather’s treachery and while the family quarrels, Dennis sadly flees the hotel and enters the forest with Winnie in tow, but they are attacked by Bela and the rest of Vlad’s minions. When Bela injures Winnie, Dennis instantly grows his fangs and his vampire abilities manifest. Drac, Mavis and Dennis team up to defeat the bat-like minions. Bela attempts to kill Johnny in revenge, but Vlad appears with a change of heart where he shrinks his former servant to a harmless size and the Werewolf Kids drive him away.

With Dennis still half vampire, Mavis decides to continue raising her son in Transylvania and the party resumes.

Voice cast

Production

Director Genndy Tartakovsky commented in October 2012, about the possibility of the sequel: “Everyone is talking about it, but we haven’t started writing it. There are a lot of fun ideas we could totally play with. It’s a ripe world.”[18] On November 9, 2012, it was announced that a sequel had been greenlit, and was scheduled for release on September 25, 2015.[19] On March 12, 2014, it was announced Tartakovsky would return to direct the sequel, even though he was originally too busy due to his developing an adaptation of Popeye.[20][21]

Music

In March 2015, it was announced that Mark Mothersbaugh, who had previously scored the first film, had signed on to score the sequel.[1]

American girl group Fifth Harmony recorded a song for the film, entitled “I’m in Love with a Monster“. It was featured in the film’s official trailer, and was also played when the film itself was released.[22]

Reception

Box office

As of October 18, 2015, Hotel Transylvania 2 has grossed $136.8 million in North America and $131.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $268 million, against a budget of $80 million.[5]

Predictions for the opening of Hotel Translyvania 2 in the North America were continuously revised upwards, starting from $35—$48 million.[23][24][25] In North America, Hotel Transylvania 2 earned $13.3 million from 3,754 theaters on its opening day, which is the second-biggest Friday opening day in September, behind Insidious Chapter 2 ($20.3 million).[26] During its opening weekend, the film earned $48.5 million from 3,754 theaters, finishing first at the box office. It became the largest September opening weekend ever (breaking its predecessor’s $42.5 million record), the largest opening weekend ever for Sandler, beating 2005’s The Longest Yard ($47.6 million),[27][28] and the best opening debut for Sony Pictures Animation. Regarding the film’s successful opening Josh Greenstein, Sony’s president of marketing said, “We had a great date, and this is a big win for Sony Pictures Animation.”[29] The largest demographic of the opening weekend audience was under the age of 25 (60%) and female (59%), followed by male (41%), 25 and over (40%) and kids (38%).[30] According to Rentrak‘s PostTrak reports, 23% of the audience bought tickets because it was an animated film, while 16% were attracted to the toon’s subject matter and plot.[30]

Hotel Transylvania 2 was released in 42 markets between September 25 and September 27, 2015—the same weekend as its North American release. It earned $30.18 million from 6,500 screens in its opening weekend. Its overall rank for the weekend was second behind Everest.[31] Its opening weekends in the U.K., Ireland and Malta ($9.5 million including previews), Mexico ($7.84 million), Germany ($3.9 million), Italy ($3.7 million) and France ($3.2 million) represented its largest takings.[31][32][33] In terms of total earnings, its largest market outside of North America is Mexico ($21 million).[33]

Critical reception

Hotel Transylvania 2 has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 50%, based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site’s consensus states: “Hotel Transylvania 2 is marginally better than the original, which may or may not be enough of a recommendation to watch 89 minutes of corny, colorfully animated gags from Adam Sandler and company.”[34] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 43 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.[35] In CinemaScore polls, audiences gave the film an average grade of “A-” on an A+ to F scale.[24]

Max Nicholson of IGN awarded it a score of 6.5 out of 10, saying “While Genndy Tartakovsky’s animation is top-notch, Hotel Transylvania 2 doesn’t live up to the first monster mash.”[36] Nick Schager of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying “Its plot comes across as just a rickety skeleton designed to prop up Sandler and company’s litany of cornball punchlines and gags, only a few of which cleverly play off of these characters’ iconography”[37] Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying “Whereas the jokes in the Grown Ups series feel reactionary and bullying, the family-friendly Hotel Transylvania gags instead come off as clever and humane, even when they’re making fun of helicopter moms and lawsuit-sensitive summer camps.”[38] Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying “Great movies like ParaNorman and Frankenweenie showed the laughs you could get out of funny fiends; Hotel Transylvania 2 just digs up a few corny gags.”[39] Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying “While the first Hotel Trans had humour for both younger and older audiences, this one will likely fall short in its appeal to adults, although there’s plenty for the little monsters to enjoy.”[40]

Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film one out of four stars, saying “Hotel Transylvania 2 is an unfortunate throwback to about 20 years ago, when animated movies were more widely accepted as cinematic babysitters.”[41] Sandie Angulo Chen of The Washington Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying “Tartakovsky hasn’t created the sort of sequel that eclipses the original, but then again the original wasn’t exactly Toy Story or How to Train Your Dragon.”[42] Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club gave the film a C+, saying “It’s an episodic, energetically animated gag factory from the pen of Adam Sandler, and while it’s the best screenplay to bear his name in years, it also warps some overfamiliar family-movie concerns until they become unavoidable in their ickiness.”[43] Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying “This time around, greater attention has been paid to story and character development (while scaling back on all the sight gags) and the substantial results give the ample voice cast and returning director Genndy Tartakovsky more to sink their teeth into, with pleasing results.”[44] Josh Kupecki of The Austin Chronicle gave the film one out of five stars, saying “Channeling your inner child, you may find solace in Hotel Transylvania 2, but in the end it has no bite, doing continued disservice to the Universal monsters it scabs out, and adding another soiled feather to Sandler’s cap of mediocrity.”[45]

Possible sequel

Michelle Murdocca, the film’s producer said before the film’s release that the studio was “talking about number 3 and moving forward and taking the franchise to the next level,” but she and director Genndy Tartakovsky won’t return since they are working on Tartakovsky’s Can You Imagine?.[46]

References

Roberts, Sheila (September 25, 2015). “20 Things to Know About ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′”. Collider.com. Retrieved September 26, 2015.

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