It isn’t too shocking that Hotel Transylvania 2 had the top opening weekend of all September films, overtaking its predecessor in the process.
According to Box Office Mojo, Hotel Transylvania 2 brought in $47.5 million, which beat the previous $42.5 million haul by Hotel Transylvania in September 2012.
With no animated films being released since the beginning of August, families flocked to movie theaters for some much-needed entertainment. The trailers and commercials that Sony released to promote the film were full of laughs for all ages, which undoubtedly convinced parents that they should bring their children to see it. Personally, I had some high hopes for Hotel Transylvania 2 because the trailers were so entertaining.
However, this film was disappointing for a number of reasons. First, all of the best parts were shown through pre-released, marketing campaigns. The trailers wound up showing too much of the story and laughs, leaving me dissatisfied as I sat watching the film in the theater.
In addition, the entire storyline was too predictable, which is not uncommon in animated features. If you have seen the trailers and commercials for Hotel Transylvania 2 already, then I suggest you do not spend money to go and see it in theaters. The only truly funny part of the film that was not previously shown in the trailers, was when Dracula’s father, Vlad, was introduced. Vlad is voiced by Mel Brooks, who was the only voice actor to give a good comedic performance.
Another reason for my disappointment was that the jokes and story are more geared toward children rather than adults. I am a strong believer that animated features should be made and written with adults in mind first and children second. If an animated movie is to succeed, it needs to be able to hold the attention of children as well as adults. This makes parents want to bring their children to see the film and then to give better word-of-mouth reviews to other parents, who subsequently bring their own children to see the film. This simple concept is why Disney and Pixar movies have always been so successful. I wish Sony would take that same model and apply it to their films because it would definitely make them better. Without some adult humor, I found myself becoming bored very quickly and, in turn, I grew disinterested in the film.
In addition to the jokes, the story is more child-friendly as opposed to being suited for adults as well. The basic message of the film is that all children should be accepted for who they are. Though this is an adult concept and a direct message to the parents, it is not interesting or deep enough to hold our attention for long. The message may resonate with children, but I do not expect them to take much away from it.
The final disappointment was the writing. The film was written by Adam Sandler, so I expected more comedically from him. Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and Andy Samberg led an impressive cast of voice actors, who were all not properly used. If a film has big time comedians, you would expect it to be funny and to have writing that accommodates each comedian’s specialty. Hotel Transylvania 2 did the exact opposite. Each role had minimal, non-comedic lines, which wasted the voice talent. There is no reason to have such a star-filled cast if the film is not going to let them shine. I was also surprised by the lack of improv and comedy. The film could have been made for way less and turned out the same way with lesser-known actors.
All in all, Hotel Transylvania 2 winds up being another cute, unenjoyable animated film. This film lacked way too much to be considered ‘good.’ It sold well in its opening weekend, but I do not expect the same result in the upcoming weeks as poor reviews will make their rounds, sinking the hopes of the film’s repeat win at the box office.