Fans of the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise can rest easy, as Amazon Studios confirmed on Wednesday that it will be the exclusive streaming home of the new sequel, “Hotel Transformania.” However, there’s going to be a bit of a wait. The film will premiere worldwide on Amazon Prime Video on January 14.
The new sequel was produced by Sony Pictures Animation, spurred by the success of “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” which opened in 2018 and grossed over $520 million worldwide. But while “Hotel Transylvania 4” was originally set for a theatrical release on October 1, Sony entered into talks with Amazon to send the film — which is being planned as the final installment of the franchise — to streaming instead.
Indeed, the pandemic has not been kind of family films, as many have either been pushed to late 2021 or 2022 or, like with “Hotel Transformania,” have been sold to a streaming service. Even Disney sent its Pixar movie “Luca” to Disney+ instead of releasing in theaters. The surge of the delta variant and resuming of school classes have not made for a fruitful environment for families to show up to these kinds of films, so Sony’s move makes financial sense.
“Hotel Transylvania” fans took to Twitter over the weekend furious that the fourth film was not on Amazon as of October 1, as many had presumed. And while the film is now confirmed for an Amazon release, it won’t be available on the streaming service until January.
The plot of “Hotel Transylvania 4” finds Drac and his monster pals turned into humans, while Johnny becomes a monster. But the new sequel has some significant differences behind the scenes. For one, Adam Sandler did not return for this new film, and has been replaced in the voice cast by Brian Hull (additionally, Kevin James was replaced by Brad Abrell).
And for another, Genndy Tartakovsky does not return as director despite helming the first three films, although he does have a co-writer and story by credit on the screenplay. Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon direct “Hotel Transformania.”
“The success of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise over the years speaks for itself,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios in a statement. “Audiences around the world have fallen in love with the films created by the brilliant Genndy Tartakovsky, and the latest installment is the perfect ending to an incredible journey. We could not be more excited to work with Sony, Genndy, Jennifer Kluska, Derek Drymon, Selena Gomez and the talented producing team to bring this funny, heartwarming film to our customers early next year.”
“The ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise has been exceptional for Sony Pictures Animation, spanning nearly a decade and introducing the world to Genndy Tartakovsky’s singular vision, and we’re so proud of what our extraordinary directors Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon have brought to this special property,” said Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation. “These films have thrilled audiences and paved the way for so many artists working in CG animation, and now the family saga of Dracula and his daughter Mavis, son-in-law Johnny, and monster BFFs is coming to a close. We are thrilled to work with Amazon to bring this film to families everywhere.”