The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Open Road Films' police story "End of Watch," fell to No. 3 with $8 million, raising its domestic total to $26.2 million.
In narrower release, Universal Pictures' music tale "Pitch Perfect" opened strongly at No. 6 with $5.2 million. The movie stars Anna Kendrick as a college freshman who joins an a cappella singing team and livens up the group's conservative style.
Playing in 335 theaters, "Pitch Perfect" averaged an impressive $15,560 a cinema. That compared to an average of $12,840 in 3,349 theaters for "Hotel Transylvania" and $7,086 in 2,992 cinemas for "Looper."
The weekend's other new wide release, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis' school drama "Won't Back Down," flopped at No. 10 with $2.7 million, averaging just $1,074 in 2,515 theaters. The movie centers on two mothers who organize a campaign to save a failing elementary school.
For Sandler, "Hotel "Transylvania" was a return to hit status after his summer dud "That's My Boy" and so-so results on last year's comedy "Jack and Jill."
Sandler's audience of young males generally has waned as he ages. But Sony, which has released most of his movies, remains eager to stay in the Sandler business.
"I have said that many times, and it still holds in a big way," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Hotel Transylvania," $43 million ($8.1 million international).
2. "Looper," $21.2 million ($8.5 million international).
3. "End of Watch," $8 million.
4. "Trouble with the Curve," $7.5 million.
5. "House at the End of the Street," $7.2 million ($1.5 million international).