As you'll read about more in the full box office report later today, Sony Pictures had a huge weekend, with both the animated Hotel Transylvania and the time-travel thriller Looper performing better than expected to take the #1 and #2 spots at the box office, respectively. The Adam Sandler-voiced Hotel was the biggest winner by far, though, with an estimated $43 million weekend haul that doesn't just make it #1, but sets a new September record-- and knocks out a really, really unexpected champion.

When you think of movies that hold box office records, especially for opening weekend, you think of mammoths like The Avengers, or even middlebrow stuff that just happened to open in a slow period, like Cloverfield. But until Hotel Transylvania came along this weekend, the record for the biggest September opening of all time was held by none other than Sweet Home Alabama, the 2002 Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy that I was honestly certain nobody remembered at all. The film opened to $35 million 10 years ago, and because September is such a historically slow box office period, it hasn't been toppled since, even by strong offerings like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs ($30 million in 2009) and Eagle Eye ($29 million in 2008).

So now the record belongs to Hotel Transylvania, and between this and Cloudy, Sony Pictures Animation has a lot of reason to think September is their territory to dominate. Historically it's been the month with the lowest record opening weekend, but according to Box Office Mojo's charts, Hotel Transylvania has helped September slide past January, which now has the lowest top opening weekend thanks to Cloverfield's $40 million. The month with the biggest box office opener? May, of course-- thanks to The Avengers.

Come back later for a much more detailed box office report!

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