Sony Pictures Animation announced today that Hotel Transylvania 4 will now be released on January 14, answering fan questions about what happened to the film, which was supposed to be released on October 1 but failed to materialize with no clear explanation last week. Back in August came the news that the fourth entry in the popular Hotel Transylvania animated film franchise (subtitled Transformania) would be skipping theaters and instead arrive exclusively on Amazon Prime Video as a streaming title. Moving a high profile project like this to streaming is hardly new territory in the pandemic era, and family movies seem to be doing better on streaming than their more grown-up counterparts, but the inexplicable delay left a lot of people pretty upset.
"We're sorry for the disappointment, but Hotel Transylvania 4 did not get released from the studio today as it was scheduled to be," came an Amazon statement on social media at the time. "As soon as it's been released we will be airing it for you! Stay tuned."
You can see the January announcement below.
Returning for Hotel Transylvania 4 are franchise veterans Selena Gomez as Mavis, and Andy Samberg as her husband/baby father Johnny. Also back are Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, and Fran Drescher, who play classic movie monsters (Werewolves, Frankenstein and wife, the Invisible Man, etc.) who serve as Dracula's ensemble of friends. Jim Gaffigan and Kathryn Hahn will also be back as Professor Abraham Van Helsing and his daughter Ericka (respectively). The plot of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is being kept under wraps - all we have is the generic tagline that "Drac's Pack is back, like you've never seen them before in the final chapter of the Hotel Transylvania franchise."
It's a bit of a whimper to go out with, considering how popular the series has been, but the pandemic has been a challenge for filmmaking and distribution, and it seems we are still dealing with the lingering impact of theater closures.
The movie came from a story by Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, who helped develop the original Hotel Transylvania concept and wrote the third installment in the franchise.