×

‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ Debuts at Annecy

Tartakovsky receives a Big O at the first public screening of the not-quite finished family comedy

ANNECY, France — Wednesday night saw the unofficial world premiere of a nearly-finished version of the third in Sony Pictures Animation’s tentpole film series, “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.”

The first two “Hotel Transylvania” films have been the company’s largest animation box office hits outside of the first “Smurfs” movie. “Hotel Transylvania” and “Hotel Transylvania 2” accumulated a combined U.S. box office in excess of $800 million.

“Hotel 3” was introduced to the audience by franchise director and animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky. The ovation for the man behind series such as “Samurai Jack,” “Dexters Lab” and “Star Wars: Clone Wars” was perhaps the biggest of the evening. He also co-wrote this installment, the first time he has held that mantle for a “Hotel Transylvania” film.

“The interesting thing is I got an opportunity to write this one along with Michael McCullers,” Tartakovsky told Variety in an interview. “And because I started it from the ground up, I was able to structure it the way that I structure stories. That means that I write for the sequences that I want to see animated.”

The film kicks off in the same hotel from the first two films, but when Mavis sees her father Dracula, who seems a bit down, she organizes a cruise vacation so that he can spend more time with his increasingly overworked family. She also invites his friends and their families. They quickly set off on their water-bound adventure.

It’s on the ship that Dracula first lays eyes on Ericka, the acrobatic blond captain. And, for the second time in his life, he zings – the monster equivalent of love at first sight. Unbeknownst to everyone on board however, Ericka is the great granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing, long-time nemesis to Dracula and hunter of all monsters.

If initial audience reactions are anything to judge by, the third should have no problem continuing the series’ trend of box office success. The packed-to-the-rafters 1,000-seat Bonlieu Grand Auditorium theater was raucous with laughter, and the film received a mighty, rhythmic applause when the end credits rolled.

While the laughs were shared by all, it was kids present that seemed to take the greatest pleasure from the film’s jokes and pratfalls. For instance, every time the family dog Tinkles was on the screen, even in disguise, screams of joy could be heard from the audience’s younger members.

“I don’t know what a six or eight-year-old likes, but at the same time I don’t really know what a 35 year old likes,” Tartakovsky said of filmmaking for all ages. “So we’ve always tried to make things for us. Generally, if the crew likes it, we know we’ve got something.

Genndy Tartakovsky Animator
CREDIT: Courtesy of Genndy Tartakovsky

It wasn’t just the kids that enjoyed the film.

“It’s my favorite so far in the series,” said Peter, a freelance animator visiting Annecy for the first time. “I love the first two, and everything Genndy does, but this one has so much action, it feels epic.”

“I will definitely be seeing it again when it comes out in theaters,” said Sarah, an animation student, as she left the theater with a group of her classmates.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” is scheduled for release July 13.

More Film

  • Dua LipaVariety Hitmakers Brunch, Portraits, Los

    'Alita: Battle Angel' to Feature New Song by Dua Lipa

    Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” will feature a new song by Dua Lipa. “Swan Song,” co-written by Justin Tranter, Kennedi Lykken, Mattias Larsson, Robin Fredriksson and Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL), in addition to Dua Lipa, will drop ahead of the film’s U.S. opening on Feb. 14. The Twentieth Century Fox action-adventure movie was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau [...]

  • Les Arcs Festival Unveil Prizes For

    'System Crasher,' 'White on White' Win Work-In-Progress Awards at Les Arcs

    Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” and Theo Court’s “White on White” won the top prizes at Les Arcs Film Festival’s Work-in-Progress session. Both titles were among the 18 films in post-production pitched during the 10th edition of the Work-in-Progress showcase which is spearheaded by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals. “System [...]

  • Actress Shirley MacLaine poses at the

    Shirley MacLaine Selected for AARP Career Achievement Award

    Shirley MacLaine has been selected as the recipient of the AARP’s 2018 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award. MacLaine will be honored at the 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. MacLaine has credits on more than 50 feature films, won a best [...]

  • 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Trailer: Cate

    Cate Blanchett Disappears in 'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' First Trailer

    Cate Blanchett goes missing in the first trailer for Richard Linklater’s latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows agoraphobic architect Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who disappears just before a family trip to Antarctica. “Something unexpected has come up,” Blanchett’s character says on the phone. “It has much [...]

  • Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in

    'The Favourite' Leads London Critics' Circle Nominations

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark historical comedy “The Favourite” lived up to its title with the London Film Critics’ Circle on Tuesday, nabbing 10 awards nominations from the group – twice as many as its nearest rivals. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s European Film [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($3.07 million). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content