This weekend's battle of box office newcomers pits the third film in an animated kids franchise that has always received mixed reviews with an action-packed original Die Hard homage starring Mr. Blockbuster himself, Dwayne Johnson. On the surface, the contest between Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper might seem like another easy box office win for The Rock, but the reality is far less obvious. When these two movies opened in theaters for preview screenings Thursday night, it was Hotel Transylvania 3 that came out on top.

Preview screenings for Skyscraper started at 7 p.m. last night and racked up $1.95 million for the Dwayne Johnson vehicle. Benefitting from a two-hour head start, preview screenings for Hotel Transylvania 3 began at 5 p.m. and pulled in $2.6 million, according to Deadline. This initial victory looks like it's a harbinger of things to come once the weekend is done because industry expectations had pegged Hotel Transylvania 3 to win the weekend somewhere in the $38 million to the low $40 million range, while Skyscraper was expected to come in between $33 million and $40 million. However, revised estimates are in based off of the Friday numbers, and it's looking like a bigger victory for Hotel Transylvania 3, which is now predicted to rake in $40-$42 million eclipsing the expected take for Skyscraper $19-$21 million. Last week's MCU movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, should take third place with $30-$32 million in its second frame.

While Hotel Transylvania 3 was expected to win the weekend, it is interesting to see Skyscraper struggling a bit. Hotel Transylvania 3 has the benefit of being a family movie, which brings out audiences during the summer when kids are out of school, and it's the first major family movie since Incredibles 2 last month. It is also the third film in a franchise, whereas Skyscraper is the only big-budget release in July that isn't a sequel. And while both films received mixed reviews, falling just short of fresh, kids movies are more insulated from bad reviews than live-action flicks. It is still early, of course, but Skyscraper cost $125 million, so it has some ground to cover. Fortunately, foreign markets may be kind to it, as Dwayne Johnson's other big release this year, Rampage, made up 76% of its total box office overseas.

Speaking of overseas performance, Hotel Transylvania 3 is off to a strong start in that regard as well. The animated film from director Genndy Tartakovsky opened on June 28th in Australia and has already surpassed the total haul of its predecessor there with $8.56 million. The international haul is $15 million so far through Thursday with more markets still to open.

You can check out Adam Sandler's Dracula and The Rock making superhuman leaps in theaters now. Make sure you check out which ticket to buy for Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper. Take a look at our release schedule for everything else competing for box office glory this year, and for all your movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

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