‘Hotel Transylvania 4’ Skipping Theaters as Sony Nears $100 Million Deal With Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)

Sony Pictures Animation and Amazon are nearing a $100 million deal for the animated feature “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” to stream globally on Amazon Prime Video, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Hotel Transylvania” has been a monster family franchise for Sony, with the first three films grossing more than $1.3 billion in theaters worldwide since 2012. But the surge in COVID cases — driven by the highly contagious delta variant predominantly infecting unvaccinated people — has made theatrical exhibition of family pics untenable since there is no vaccine yet for children under 12. With New York City enacting a vaccine mandate for indoor venues on Tuesday, and other major cities seriously considering their own, sources say that in early August, Sony began exploring an alternative release for the fourth “Hotel Transylvania” movie, which had been slated to open in theaters on Oct. 1.

Sony will retain rights to home entertainment, linear TV and Chinese exhibition, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

As the only major studio without a dedicated streaming service, Sony has struck deals for films on its 2020 and 2021 slates across the streaming ecosystem. In 2020, Sony placed “Greyhound” with Apple TV Plus, “An American Pickle” with HBO Max and “Happiest Season” with Hulu. This year, the studio has worked with Netflix for “Fatherhood,” “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and “Vivo,” and with Amazon for “Cinderella,” which will debut on Sept. 3.

Billed as the “final chapter” of the “Hotel Transylvania” series, “Transformania” is directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska from a script by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and executive producer Genndy Tartakovsky. Brian Hull and Brad Abrell are respectively voicing the roles of Dracula and Frankenstein, replacing original stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James. The rest of the cast is returning, including Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Molly Shannon, Keegan-Michael Key and Fran Drescher. Gomez is also executive producing, along with Michelle Murdocca.

Spokespersons for Sony and Amazon had no comment.

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