Hotel Transylvania won’t be flying into the theaters this time around. The fourth installment in the saga, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, will instead stream globally on Amazon Prime Video, Variety reports. Along with a replacement for Adam Sandler‘s Dracula (who will now be voiced by Brian Hull), the Universal film will open new doors by bypassing theaters completely for the first time since it began in 2012.
The monster-themed (and sized) franchise has been a huge hitter for Sony, with the first three films grossing more than $1.3 billion in theaters worldwide since the initial film’s debut. But with a surge in COVID cases driven by the delta variant, the theatrical exhibition of family flicks has become a source of anxiety around the nation as there is no vaccine yet for children under 12. As major cities begin to consider enacting a vaccine mandate like New York City’s, the idea of making a sizeable profit from Hotel Transylvania 4 has dwindled.
Originally set to debut in theaters on October 1, Sony will still retain rights to home entertainment, linear TV, and Chinese exhibition of Hotel Transylvania 4.
Sony is the only major studio without a dedicated streaming service, and has struck deals for films on its 2020 and 2021 slates across a few different platforms. Last year, Greyhound landed with Apple TV+, An American PIckle with HBO Max, and Happiest Season with Hulu. The studio has partnered a handful of times with Netflix this year, with Fatherhood, The Mitchells and the Machines, and Vivo landing on the mega-streamer. Along with Hotel Transylvania 4, Sony has also teamed up with Prime Video for the release of their Camila Cabello-led Cinderella.
Hotel Transylvania 4 is billed as the “final chapter” of the saga of the series, directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska with a script by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo, and executive producer Genndy Tartakovsky. Along with Hull, the film’s all-star cast includes Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Molly Shannon, Keegan-Michael Key, and Fran Drescher.
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