Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

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Hotel Transylvania 3
Hotel Transylvania 3 (2018) Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGenndy Tartakovsky
Written by
Based onCharacters
by Todd Durham
Produced byMichelle Murdocca
Starring
Edited byJoyce Arrastia
Music byMark Mothersbaugh
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[3]
Release date
  • June 13, 2018 (2018-06-13) (AIAFF)
  • July 13, 2018 (2018-07-13) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[5]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$80 million[6]
Box office$528.6 million[6]

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (released internationally as Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation[7] or simply Hotel Transylvania 3 as marketed on home release) is a 2018 American computer-animated monster comedy film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The third installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise and the sequel to Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), it was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and written by Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers, and features Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, Sadie Sandler, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Joe Whyte, Asher Blinkoff, Chris Parnell and Mel Brooks reprising their roles, as well as new additions to the cast including Jim Gaffigan, Kathryn Hahn, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen and Tartakovsky. In the film, Dracula finds love with a ship captain named Ericka while on a vacation on a cruise liner with his family and friends, but Mavis later discovers that Ericka is actually the great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing, Drac's arch-enemy.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 13, 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 13. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics and grossed $528 million worldwide against a budget of $80 million. It is the highest-grossing film in the Hotel Transylvania series and Sony Pictures Animation's highest-grossing film worldwide to be completely animated. The sequel, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, was scheduled to be released theatrically on October 1, 2021, with Brian Hull and Brad Abrell taking over the roles of Dracula and Frankenstein from Adam Sandler and Kevin James, respectively.[8][9][10] On October 6, Sony Pictures Releasing sold the film's distribution rights to Amazon Studios for $100 million, due to rising cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the United States, and set a release date of January 14, 2022, worldwide, excluding China, where Sony will handle a theatrical release.[11][12]

Plot[edit]

Back in 1897, Dracula and his friends travel in disguise on a train to Budapest. However, Dracula's arch-enemy Professor Abraham Van Helsing boards the train and unveils the monsters; the monsters escape by climbing through the roof, and Dracula pushes his friends off the train for their safety. Van Helsing becomes obsessed with destroying Dracula, but is constantly outsmarted by him.

In the present day following a few weeks after the second film, Dracula is running his hotel business smoothly with his daughter Mavis and son-in-law Johnny. Drac is depressed that he has remained single since his wife Martha's death despite his attempts to meet someone. Misinterpreting this as stress from overwork, Mavis books a cruise so they can all take a break and spend more time together as a family. Dracula, Johnny, Mavis, their son Dennisovitch, Dracula's father Vlad, and the hotel guests board a cruise ship called the Legacy. Dracula sees the ship's human captain, Ericka, and immediately falls for her, something that he thought was impossible as he had already "zinged" before.

Ericka goes to a private and secret room on the lower decks where she meets Abraham Van Helsing, secretly her great-grandfather. Van Helsing has almost entirely mechanized his body to avoid death, and has a plan to eliminate all the monsters: on the cruise's arrival at the lost city of Atlantis, he will use an Instrument of Destruction in Atlantis' ruins. Van Helsing makes Ericka promise to not assassinate Dracula beforehand, but she makes repeated unsuccessful attempts to do so anyway. Dracula's friends hear Ericka complain about her inability to get him and misinterpret this as a sign of affection. Dracula nervously asks Ericka out on a date, and she accepts since she sees this as another opportunity to kill him. As they dine on a deserted island, Ericka unexpectedly begins to fall in love with Drac, after they learn about each other's pasts.

Mavis discovers Dracula is interested in Ericka and becomes suspicious of Ericka's motives. The cruise ship reaches Atlantis, which has been converted into a casino; Dracula decides to tell Mavis the truth about Ericka but gets distracted seeing Ericka enter an underground crypt. Drac follows her, with Mavis not far behind, and learns that Ericka is after a "family heirloom". With Dracula's help, she evades the booby traps around the object and escapes. Mavis arrives and confronts them, and Dracula confesses that he "zinged" with Ericka, to Mavis' surprise and confusion. After Ericka is told what a "zing" is, she rejects Dracula's romantic feelings, leaving Dracula heartbroken and leaving Mavis feeling guilty.

A regretful Ericka gives Van Helsing the object—the Instrument of Destruction—and he sets a trap for the monsters at a dance party. Noticing that Dracula is still depressed about Ericka, Mavis takes advice from Johnny and tells her father to talk to Ericka, admitting that she was afraid of him leaving her, which allays Drac's fears. Van Helsing shows up and pushes away the DJ, and a saddened Ericka is forced to reveal that she is his great-granddaughter. Van Helsing unveils the Instrument of Destruction, a case for a music note sheet, and plays a song (The song is a "audio edited" version of Astronomia by Vicetone and Tony Igy.) that drives a friendly Kraken living near the island to attack the monsters. Dracula tries to stop the Kraken, but gets injured. Ericka saves Dracula from the Kraken and pleads with her great-grandfather to stop the destruction, confessing her love for Drac. This infuriates Van Helsing, and he attacks them both.

To pacify the Kraken, Johnny opens up a portable DJ kit and plays positive songs ("Good Vibrations" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy") to beat Van Helsing's song. Upon playing the "Macarena," the Kraken is relaxed and happy for good; Van Helsing is unable to counter the song as the humans and monsters begins to dance, including the music sheet, which rips itself to pieces during the process. When Van Helsing also dances, he accidentally slips and falls, but Dracula saves him. Touched by the act of kindness, Van Helsing apologizes to the monsters and gives everybody a full refund for the cruise, before sending them back.

Back at Hotel Transylvania, Dracula proposes to Ericka, who stammers at the question before accepting.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Adam Sandler as Count "Drac" Dracula is Mavis' father, Count Vlad's youngest son, and Dennis’ maternal grandfather. Centuries after the demise of his beloved wife Martha, he ultimately falls for a human woman and proposes to her. He is later voiced by Brian Hull in the next film.
  • Andy Samberg as Jonathan "Johnny" Loughran who is Mavis' husband, Dracula's son-in-law, and Dennis' human father.
  • Selena Gomez as Mavis Dracula, Drac's daughter, Johnny's wife, and Dennis' vampire mother, from whom he inherited his vampire abilities which he first developed on his fifth birthday, as do all pureblood vampires.
  • Kathryn Hahn as Ericka Van Helsing, the captain of the Legacy cruise, Dracula's love interest, and the great granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Jim Gaffigan as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Ericka's great grandfather and Dracula's formal rival.
  • Kevin James as Frankenstein, Drac's friend who hangs with Murray. He is later voiced by Brad Abrell in the next film.
  • David Spade as Griffin, Drac, Frank, Wayne and Murray's invisible friend.
  • Steve Buscemi as Wayne, a werewolf who is friends with Drac, Frank, Murray and Griffin.
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Murray, an ancient mummy who hangs with Frank.[13] Murray was previously voiced by CeeLo Green in the first film.
  • Molly Shannon as Wanda, Wayne's werewolf wife who is friends with Eunice.[13]
  • Fran Drescher as Eunice, Frank's wife who is friends with Wanda.[13]
  • Asher Blinkoff as Dennis "Dennisovitch" Dracula-Loughran, Mavis and Johnny's human/vampire hybrid son, Dracula's grandson, and Winnie's love interest. He has his mother's blue eyes and extraordinarily strong vampire abilities, and his father's orange hair and freckles.
  • Sadie Sandler as Winnie, the werewolf daughter of Wayne and Wanda. She is Dennis' best friend and mutual love interest.
  • Mel Brooks as Count Vlad, an ancient, more experienced and traditional vampire who is Dracula's father, the late Martha's father-in-law, Mavis' paternal grandfather, Jonathan's grandfather-in-law, and Dennisovitch's maternal great-grandfather. Since the end of the third movie, he is Ericka's father-in-law.
  • Chris Parnell as Stan, a fish-man that works on the Legacy. Parnell was the voice of The Fly from the first two films.
  • Joe Whyte as Tinkles, Dennis' giant pet puppy.
    • Whyte also voices Bob, one of the Gremlins who works as a co-pilot on Gremlins' airlines.
  • Joe Jonas as Kraken, a giant music-loving sea monster that lives near Atlantis.
  • Chrissy Teigen as Crystal, an invisible woman who is Griffin's new girlfriend.[14]
  • Genndy Tartakovsky as:
    • Blobby, a green blob monster.[15] He was previously voiced by Jonny Solomon in Hotel Transylvania 2.
    • Blobby Baby, a spawn of Blobby.
    • Puppy Blobby, Blobby Baby's pet and a spawn of Blobby.
  • Tara Strong as Frankenlady (voiced by Alison Hammond and credited as Frankenginger in the UK release[16]), a female whose right arm is related to Frank from his right hand's side of the family.
  • Jaime Camil as El Chupacabra, a passenger on the Legacy.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In September 2015, Michelle Murdocca, the film's producer, said before the second film's release that the studio was "talking about number 3 and moving forward and taking the franchise to the next level," but thought that she and director Genndy Tartakovsky would not return, since they were working on Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine?[17] before that project was later shelved.[18] That same month, Tartakovsky stated that he will not return for the sequel, specifying to TheWrap that "two is enough. I have a lot of other ideas, and I kind of have to express them and have them come out."[19] In November 2015, Sony Pictures Animation announced that the third film, under the tentative title of Hotel Transylvania 3, had been set for release on September 21, 2018.[20]

Despite leaving the series, Tartakovsky later announced that he would return as the director for the third installment.[21][17] Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and Andy Samberg also reprised their previous roles, as Dracula, Mavis, and Johnny, respectively, and the film was written by Tartakovsky and Austin Powers writer Michael McCullers.[21] In June 2016, Sony also confirmed Tartakovsky's return, after his taking a leave of absence to work on the final season of his show Samurai Jack.[22] According to Tartakovsky, he returned after he received inspiration from a "miserable" family vacation, and from the Chevy Chase National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as the film takes place aboard a cruise ship.[23][24][25] By early November 2017, the film had been entitled Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.[6]

One of the biggest challenges for the animation team was creating the massive Kraken character and simulating the water effects and destruction caused by the massive creature.[26]

Music[edit]

Mark Mothersbaugh returned to score the third film, having previously scored the first two installments, while Sony Classical Records has released an official soundtrack of the trilogy. Dutch DJ Tiësto also provided music for the film, particularly Van Helsing's Kraken brain-washing music. DNCE's song "Cake by the Ocean" and Pitbull's song "Shake Senora" were used in promotional material. Eric Nam recorded the song "Float" for the film. "I See Love" performed by Jonas Blue featuring Joe Jonas was featured in the film's end-credits, while Joe Jonas also recorded "It's Party Time" for the film while he was voicing Kraken the sea monster. Bruno Mars' song "24K Magic" was also provided for the film when Dracula dances on the cruise ship as Ericka makes attempts on his life and a fishman (voiced by Chris Parnell) sings a cover version of "Downtown (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song)" on stage in one scene. During a scene where the characters dance, Gangnam Style plays.

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

On June 13, 2018, director Genndy Tartakovsky presented almost complete version of the film at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.[27][28]

Summer Vacation was originally scheduled for release on September 21, 2018, a date that was later moved up two months earlier to July 13 as Sony rescheduled Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween for the original date instead.[20][29] On June 21, 2018, Amazon announced it was offering its Amazon Prime members an early showing of the film on June 30, at about 1,000 theaters, similar to fellow Sony release Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle the previous December.[30]

Home media[edit]

Summer Vacation was released on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on October 9, 2018, by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.[31]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Summer Vacation has grossed $167.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $361.1 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $528.6 million against a production budget of $80 million.[6] On September 1, 2018, the film surpassed its predecessor, Hotel Transylvania 2, to become Sony Pictures Animation's highest-grossing film worldwide to be completely animated (and second-highest overall behind 2011's The Smurfs);[32][33] Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse would later surpass Hotel Transylvania 2 to become SPA's highest-grossing film domestically in 2019.[34]

In the United States and Canada, Summer Vacation was released alongside the opening of Skyscraper, as well as the wide expansion of Sorry to Bother You, and was projected to gross $38–45 million from 4,267 theaters in its first weekend.[30][35] The film made $1.3 million from its early 3PM screenings held by Amazon on June 30, and $2.6 million from screenings beginning at 5PM the Thursday before its official release.[36] It went on open to $44.1 million, finishing first at the box office and landing in-between the debuts of the first two Hotel Transylvania films.[37] The film made $23.2 million in its second weekend, finishing second behind newcomers The Equalizer 2 and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.[38] It made another $12.3 million in its third weekend, finishing fourth.[39]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, which categorizes reviews only as positive or negative, 62% of 119 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation delivers exactly what fans will expect – which means another 97 agreeably lightweight minutes of fast-paced gags and colorful animation."[40] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 54 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[41] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by both its predecessors.[37]

IGN gave the film score of 7.6 out of 10, saying, "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is mostly funny, BLAH-blah-BLAH!"[42] Conversely, Scott Tobias of Variety gave the film a negative review, stating, "That leaves Hotel Transylvania 3 to look too much like another lackadaisical gathering of Sandler and his frequent on-screen chums, like a PG-rated Grown Ups at sea. They seem like the ones taking the vacation, and it's audiences who are left to pick up the tab."[43] Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com wrote, "Trust me, I know that "storytelling" is not the main reason that kids go to third films in a franchise—I have two of my own that love this particular series—but I'm speaking more to the adults who have to pay for the ticket and waste their time here. Kids go for the familiar faces, repeated jokes, and comfortable world they feel they know. Hotel Transylvania 3 gets enough of that right to allow it to stand above the truly abysmal summer animated offerings of recent years (I'm looking at you, The Nut Job 2 and The Emoji Movie). It's not that bad. It's more forgettable than painful. When it was over, I asked my 9-year-old what he would give it. He replied, "I would give it 4 stars but I'm a kid. I'd probably give it 3 if I were an adult." Not quite."[44]

Brian Lowry of CNN wrote, "Creatively, though, unlike the best animated franchises, whatever sense of discovery, surprise or ingenuity that Hotel Transylvania originally offered appears pretty well behind it. That might not mean it's checkout time just yet, but all that seems left is to dig up the pieces, stitch them together, and flip the "on" switch."[45] Scott Mendelson of Forbes gave the film a positive review, saying "Hotel Transylvania 3 feels less like a narrative sequel and more like a casual "episode of the week" animated adventure. When you can watch the TV show at home, the movies must be relative events. This one feels less like an inspired PG-rated, kid-friendly distillation of Sandler's comedy than an animated version of his (comparatively) lazy studio comedies where he and his regular castmates go on a vacation on the studio's dime. The movie looks great, there are a few chuckles, and the kids may enjoy it. But compared to its predecessors, Hotel Transylvania 3 is mostly blah (blah blah)."[46] Jamie Righetti of IndieWire wrote, "With plenty of laughs, truly dazzling animation, and some more of the franchise's signature dance sequences, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is a summer treat worth savoring, and a reminder that if we can see past our differences, we'll find we're not that different after all."[47]

Chris Nashawaty from Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B-, saying "The harmless high jinks all go down easily enough without being particularly memorable or pushing the art form past the expected. Three movies in, the Hotel Transylvania series is undeniably getting a bit long in the fang. It's maybe one more sequel away from having a stake mercifully driven through its heart. Still, it's hard to argue with the sight of an airplane piloted by mischievous gremlins or the film's benign messages of the importance of family and love conquering all. I may have spent large stretches of the film rolling my eyes, but my 5-year-old twins' attention never flagged. Even if, in their eyes, Summer Vacation was no Lego Movie. Then again, for them, nothing could be."[48] Rafer Guzmán of Newsday stated, "In the end, the noisy humor and classic rock songs drown out whatever worthy messages Hotel Transylvania 3 might offer."[49] Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent gave it 2 out of 5 stars, saying "In its scattergun way, parts of the film are funny and very inventive. The hitch is that the storytelling feels so utterly random. All sorts of unrelated ideas are thrown together into the big, sloppy, monster mash of a plot as the cruise continues. The end message, namely that monsters and humans aren't that different and really ought to learn to get along, is sanctimonious in the extreme. Maybe it is time to put a stake through the heart of this particular franchise."[50]

Accolades[edit]

The People's Choice Awards nominated the film in the category "Favorite Family Movie".[51] Adam Sandler & Selena Gomez both won Favorite Male and Female voice from an animated movie at 2019 Kids' Choice Awards.

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film, titled Hotel Transylvania 3: Monsters Overboard, was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on July 10, 2018. It was developed by Torus Games and published by Outright Games.[52][53] While Keegan-Michael Key was the only one to reprise his role from the film, the rest of the cast consists of Brock Powell as Count Dracula, Melissa Sturm as Mavis, Michael Buscemi as Wayne, Julianne Buescher as Ericka, Danny Gendron as Frank, and Brian T. Stevenson as Johnny. Margaret Tang voice directs the video game.

Sequel[edit]

In February 2019, Sony Pictures Animation announced that a fourth film is in development and is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2021.[54] In October 2019, Tartakovsky announced he will not direct the film.[55] In April 2020, it was announced that it would be moved up to August 6, 2021.[56] In September 2020, it is announced that Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon will replace Tartakovsky as director, although he will still be involved as producer and screenwriter, as well as Selena Gomez reprising her role as Mavis, and serving as executive producer of the film.[57] In April 2021, the film's official title was revealed, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, and the film's release date was moved up again to July 23, 2021,[58] before moving to October 1, 2021.[8] That same day, Sony confirmed that Adam Sandler would not be reprising his role as Dracula in the film, with the role given to Brian Hull.[59] It was also announced that Kevin James will not reprising his role as the voice of Frankenstein, and the role would be given to Brad Abrell.[10] In August 2021, Sony was in discussions to cancel the film's theatrical plans and release it direct-to-streaming, in response to the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant surges in the United States and the low box office turnouts of Black Widow and The Suicide Squad.[60][61] On October 6, Amazon Studios acquired the distribution rights to the film for $100 million, and will release it exclusively on Prime Video on January 14, 2022, worldwide, excluding China, where Sony will handle a theatrical release.[11][12]

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