As the only studio not to own or operate a streaming service, Sony have been affected by the pandemic to a much more significant degree than Disney, Universal, Warner Bros. or Paramount. In fact, out of the twelve English-language productions announced for 2021, Sony sold no less than half of them off to other platforms.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Escape Room: Contest of Champions, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, A Journal for Jordan, and Spider-Man: No Way Home will hit theaters, but that’s it. The company’s animation division handed The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Wish Dragon, and Vivo over to Netflix, with the company also distributing Kevin Hart’s Fatherhood.
The upcoming Cinderella was auctioned off to Amazon, and Prime Video is also set to play host to Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, the fourth installment in the animated franchise that’s earned over $1.3 billion at the box office, making it a pretty big deal. The latest outing for Dracula and the gang was pegged to premiere in theaters on October 1st, but it’s now been pulled from the calendar altogether, with a new debut still to be decided. The move seems directly related to fears over the widely contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.
Amazon is poised to shell out $100 million for the rights to stream Hotel Transylvania 4, which marks the first film in the series that doesn’t feature Adam Sandler as Dracula, with Brian Hull filling in. The reviews for the family friendly property got progressively better with each new entry, rising from the opener’s 44% to Summer Vacation‘s 62%, and box office grosses also substantially increased movie-to-movie.
That makes it all the more surprising that Hotel Transylvania: Transformania will be an Amazon exclusive, and just goes to show that the effects of COVID-19 will continue to affect the industry for a while.