Sony Skips Theaters With Hotel Transylvania 4, Streaming on Amazon Instead

The world of blockbuster movies is in an ever-evolving state of flux due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with certain films getting delayed or shuffled around to other platforms due to the virus' spread, as well as the surge of the Delta variant. On Monday, a new report confirmed that Hotel Transylvania: Transformania will be the latest film impacted by that, with the upcoming animated installment expected to debut only on Amazon Prime Video. The news was confirmed in a report from Variety, which claims that Sony Pictures Animation and Amazon are nearing a $100 million deal to have the film stream globally. The film, which is the fourth in the animated franchise, was initially set to debut in theaters on October 1st.

According to the report, Sony began exploring alternative release options in early August, as various COVID-19 factors have prevented family films from being able to be released in theaters. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania would be the latest all-ages film to change its strategy amid the rise of the Delta variant, with Paramount Pictures' Clifford the Big Red Dog movie being removed from its September 17th date late last month.

The report indicates that Sony will still retain the home entertainment, linear TV, and Chinese exhibition rights to Transformania. This is the latest picture on Sony's roster to find a home on streaming amid the pandemic, after sending Greyhound to Apple TV+, An American Pickle to HBO Max, Happiest Season to Hulu, Cinderella to Amazon, and films such as Fatherhood, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, and Vivo to Netflix. The studio also signed a massive deal with Netflix for its upcoming theatrical releases, allowing for the streamer to have an 18-month exclusive window for titles debuting after January of 2022.

"Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement," Netflix global film head Scott Stuber shared in a statement at the time. "This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new IP to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first-run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide."

In Transformania, which has been dubbed the final film in the franchise, Drac and the pack are back, like you've never seen them before. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the 'Monsterfication Ray,' goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it's too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

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For the final chapter of the Hotel Transylvania film series, franchise creator Genndy Tartakovsky returns as screenwriter and executive producer. Selena Gomez will also serve as executive producer, while reprising her role as Drac's daughter, Mavis, alongside Andy Samberg, returning as Johnny. The film also features Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Brian Hull, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, and Molly Shannon. Directed by Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon, executive produced by Michelle Murdocca, and produced by Alice Dewey Goldstone,