10. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Worldwide Box Office: $358.4million
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Molly Shannon, CeeLo Green, Jon Lovitz, Rob Riggle
Before the recent renaissance of Adam Sandler’s much maligned career, the Hotel Transylvania series that started in 2012 was the only mild respite from a plethora of below average movies in a 10 year period between 2006 and 2016, his animated turn as Dracula seeming to combine the actor’s most lovable qualities while keeping a tight lid on those elements of his persona people had come to dislike.
Hotel Translyvania benefitted most from having a heart-warming central narrative around which its creative exploration of famed cinematic monsters Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Quasimodo etc. were able to operate as entertaining comedic elements, making for an enjoyable family movie, albeit still several levels below the very best of the era.
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9. Peter Rabbit (2018)
Worldwide Box Office: $351.3million
Starring: James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Sam Neill, Sia Furler
A runaway box office hit in the UK, Peter Rabbit was a certified audience favourite in 2018, the Beatrix Potter created titular character being about as engrained in British culture as tea and biscuits or Yorkshire puddings. It also had the benefit of being a particularly Easter-related movie released around the Easter holiday period, but it wasn’t necessarily anything more than throwaway children’s fun wrapped in a lot of clever marketing and scheduling.
Peter Rabbit was fun so far as B-Movies go, with the voice cast doing their best to get over a particular child-friendly innocence, but the animation wasn’t particularly creative while the narrative was far too safe to push this film up our rankings. Ultimately Peter Rabbit lands in the middle section of this edition of Ranked because of how it is an enjoyable but not very memorable Sony Pictures Animation release.
8. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
Worldwide Box Office: $145million
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Danny McBride, Awkwafina, Leslie Jones, Sterling K. Brown, Maya Rudolph, Pete Davidson, Nicki Minaj
When Sony re-purposed the Angry Birds IP from Columbia Pictures to Sony Pictures, original animation division Rovio Animation were replaced by Sony Pictures Animation, and the quality was immediately increased. This animated sequel hit the market at a time when Angry Birds was even less relevant than at the time of the first movie’s release (2016) and barely made a splash with audiences, acquiring a relatively tiny $124million at the worldwide box office; a figure that only just ensured that the project broke even.
As many B-level modern animated projects do these days, The Angry Birds Movie 2 leant heavily into referencial humour (even including references to The Hunger Games) and was hardly anything other than an enjoyable throwaway. Nevertheless, it was a surprisingly well made film with a cast of great, listenable voices and some high quality animation.
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7. Goosebumps (2015)
Worldwide Box Office: $158.3million
Starring: Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Dylan Minnette, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Kumail Nanjiani, Karan Soni
Described by Katie Doyle in her review for The Film Magazine as a film that “missed the boat but wasn’t a waste of an afternoon”, this fairly well received introduction to the famous “Goosebumps” novels in live-action cinema was a fun and hearty Sony Pictures Animation release, but one that didn’t quite do justice to the original source material.
Starring Jack Black and a clan of young up-and-coming actors, Goosebumps had a lot going for it on the screen and the finished product was enjoyable and successful enough to warrant a sequel, making for a strong family entry from a studio not usually associated with live-action films.