Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Drac Duel: Sony Pits 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Against WB's Animated 'Scooby' Film


With how well Hotel Transylvania 2 is doing, the much talked about threequel has been given a concrete release date...

It certainly isn't surprising that we're going to see another Hotel Transylvania film, but what's surprising is just how well the sequel is currently doing. I predicted it would kind of stay flat (think a Rio 2-esque performance), but no, it's outdoing its predecessor domestically and worldwide by a small margin. It's on its way to $400 million worldwide, making it Sony Animation's biggest non-Smurfs movie.

As many of us know, director Genndy Tartakovsky won't be back for part three, which is for the better considering that the two movies were really Adam Sandler's projects more so than Genndy's. Hopefully Genndy will be allowed to move onto his exciting-sounding original project, Can You Imagine? The Drac Pack sequel, like most of Sony Animation's productions, cost a good $85 million to make. I wonder if Genndy is literally on the throne there thanks to the success of these two films. The optimist in me hopes that he'll get carte blanche on future projects.

Anyways, the date? Much like its predecessors and several other Sony Animation films, it's opening in late September. September 21, 2018 to be exact...

However, that spot that Sony would always lock seems to be falling out of their hands...

Warner Animation has confidently been playing some release date chess...

Two years ago, Sony Animation locked 9/23/2016 and 9/22/2017 for untitled pictures, but Warners recently moved right into both of those slots. Just took them right out of their hands. At first they intended to launch Lego Ninjago in the 9/23/2016 slot, but now the slot belongs to their original story Storks. Lego Ninjago now occupies the 9/22/2017 slot.

Right now, Warner has an untitled, all-animated Scooby-Doo movie is set for 9/21/2018. Sony packed up twice, as it seems they won't be releasing anything on 9/23/2016 and 9/22/2017 respectively. (Get Smurfy! and The Lamb are set for 3/31/2017 and 12/8/2017 respectively...)


Sony struck back, now we have another game of release date chicken. This duel will be a bit interesting, as it'll be between the rabbit and the torch lady. If they were up against the mouse, we'd know the winner right away. I mean heck, WB, as big as they are, thought they could make Disney blink when they pit Batman v Superman against what would eventually be Captain America: Civil War. Sony - the company as a whole, not just the animation studio - is working their way back up following the hack/Interview fiasco and a string of flops (Chappie, Aloha), whilst Warner Bros. is big and consistently successful (flops like Jupiter Ascending and Pan notwithstanding).

I'd argue WB has the upper hand here, considering WB's size as a company, and how iconic Scooby-Doo is. Sony Animation is nowhere as big and Hotel Transylvania is a recent, original property. Though to be fair, it does work off of iconic classic monsters. The last theatrical Scooby movie (2004's Monsters Unleashed) didn't really make much of a mark, but I can see a big turnout for a good-looking animated Scooby movie, assuming that the taste from the two live-action films from last decade is long gone. Every couple of years they reimagine Scooby in some way or another, the most recent incarnation being Be Cool, Scooby-Doo, so the franchise is still fresh and successful.

Whoever moves, the studio in question could probably settle for another September weekend or something in mid-October, since October 2018 is free, animation/family film-wise. Both are perfect-for-Halloween pictures, so...

What say you?

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