'Hotel Transylvania 4' May Skip Theaters as Sony Makes $100 Million Deal With Amazon

Another day, another deal between studios that comes with wide-ranging implications. The movie industry keeps absorbing shake-up after shake-up as a result of the pandemic, with Sony making the latest big move to get out in front of potential box office losses. Sony Pictures Animation is reportedly close to a deal that would send Hotel Transylvania: Transformania straight to Amazon Prime Video, which leaves the door open for even more changes to come later this year as infection rates in the United States show no signs of abating.

According to Variety, the deal to take the latest installment of the immensely successful animated series off Sony’s hands and stream globally on Amazon will be in excess of $100 million. The fact that it’s been such a proven moneymaker for the studio might make this seem like an eyebrow-raising decision, as the movies have grossed well over $1 billion at the box office, but it makes much more sense given that it’s a children-oriented series. The increase in highly contagious Delta variant cases makes it less likely that parents would take their kids (especially those too young to be vaccinated) for a family outing to the theaters, prompting the decision to sell the latest sequel to a popular streaming service.

Hotel Transylvania 4 had been previously scheduled for a theatrical release on October 1, but we’ll bring you the news for the updated Amazon release as soon as it becomes official.

Sony’s Streaming Sell-offs

Variety notes that Sony is “… the only major studio without a dedicated streaming service,” which explains why they’ve made such a concerted effort to sell off multiple titles that they clearly believed wouldn’t perform for them in theaters under current conditions. Hotel Transylvania 4 joins other films such as Greyhound (which went to AppleTV+), An American Pickle (HBO Max), Happiest Season (Hulu), and Cinderella (Amazon).

While there has been no official word just yet, the lack of a firm release date for Venom: Let There Be Carnage (the latest trailers only tout a “Fall” release, but Sonly is clinging to October 15 for now) would seem to suggest that it might just be destined for a future release on a service like Amazon. I would imagine a potential deal involving Venom to be as expensive as it gets, seeing how the original movie eclipsed $800 million on its way to becoming a major box office hit. Of course, Sony could also opt to keep delaying their prized sequel in the hope of reaping as large a box office reward as they can. Like much of the industry right now, the situation remains uncertain. Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.

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