EXCLUSIVE: Making good on a promise to make a splash in Cannes today, Sony PicturesHotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation cruised up to the Carlton pier this afternoon for a pre-fest photo op, and to launch a new sneak peek at the threequel. Check out the video below and an exclusive pic from the event above.

As Deadline revealed yesterday, this is the third year in a row that Sony has taken advantage of the Cannes Film Festival for a promotional stunt ahead of kick-off, staking out prime media real estate in the process. The studio has carved out a day-before niche at a time when some eschew the high cost of launching movies during the Riviera event.

Courtesy of Sony
HT3, whose international title is Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation, splashed down just after 3PM local today as a procession of themed boats and water skiing zombie bellhops arrived from the Old Port to the Carlton dock. Monsters then emerged across a drawbridge to join director Genndy Tartakovsky and the international voice cast. The event also featured new character, mysterious ship captain Ericka, and a gaggle of witches riding a banana boat. There were about 30 international TV crews covering.

Tartakovsky told Deadline, “I’m extremely fortunate to be here in Cannes as the first stop on our Hotel Transylvania 3 ‘press cruise.’ It is a historic festival and city and I am very lucky to have an opportunity to present our vacationing monster family as they embark on their comedic adventure! It is my first time here but I know it will be the first of many.”

Nearly 50 children from local schools, all dressed in HT3 outfits, cheered and danced on the pier as Tartakovsky launched the sneak sequence that’s focused on Gremlins Air, and shot off confetti canons. The kids’ participation was organized by the Cannes Cinéma Pôle Culturel.

The Hotel Transylvania movies are a lucrative property for Sony, having grossed a combined $831.6M worldwide across the first two installments. The threequel starts offshore play in June and then goes much wider in July. The domestic open is July 13.

Here’s the Gremlins Air sequence: