‘Hotel Transylvania 4’ Bound For Amazon Prime In $100M-Plus Deal

Vlad (Mel Brooks), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Invisible Man (David Spade), Dracula (Adam Sandler), Mavis (Selena Gomez), Frank (Kevin James) and Eunice (Fran Drescher) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION.

Sony is reportedly (so says Variety) on the verge of selling Hotel Transylvania: Transformania to Amazon for over $100 million, a deal would make the fourth installment in the blockbuster Sony Animation series into a streaming-specific debut. The franchise is box-office gold: the first three movies grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide.

Sony is in a unique situation as the only big studio without a major streaming site, as such it has sent movies to other streamers throughout the pandemic. It is heading for one of Netflix’s biggest rivals. Prime Video’s animation strategy has been muted and a little haphazard to date, although it recently rolled out a high-profile acquisition, the anime feature Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time. Transformania will be its biggest animated pick-up yet by far.

Sony is the only Hollywood major without its own mass-market streaming platform, and SPA’s three last films — The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Wish Dragon, and Vivo — all went to Netflix. Sony will retain rights to home entertainment, linear tv, and Chinese exhibition.

Sony scored rave reviews and strong box office with The Mitchells Vs. the Machines (still probably the best mainstream movie of the year) and Vivo and thus further asserted Sony Animation as a real artistic force to be reckoned with. Hotel Transylvania 4 may not have ended up in the Oscar race, but it was the very definition of a safe tentpole in pre-Covid times.

And their (very large) deal with Netflix concerning the first pay-tv window for future Sony theatrical releases was a sign that Sony would not be joining the streaming wars but would instead sit on the sidelines and sell the valuable third-party content instead.

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