EXCLUSIVE: The Drac Pack is coming to Cannes. For the third year in a row, Sony’s marketing team is pulling out the stops for a pre-film festival stunt that will showcase an upcoming title. In this year’s case, it’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. This follows similar plays with last year’s The Emoji Movie and 2016’s Angry Birds promo. HT3 tomorrow will stake out prime real estate during the lull in which much of the world’s media is prepping for the main event to open — and looking for photo ops.
Typically, this would be before the Wednesday kick off of the Cannes Film Festival, but the fest this year is going a day early, on Tuesday. And so, Sony stayed in step, planning its latest stunt for Monday.
At 3PM local time tomorrow, folks from HT3 (whose full international title is Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation) will arrive in a colorful water parade at the Carlton Beach pier, where their fictional cruise ship awaits. This is expected to include water skiers and banana boat riders. Here on the ground, we can already see the preparations underway (pic above).
Director Genndy Tartakovsky, along with some of the film’s international voice talent and together with all the characters from HT3 are looking to make quite a splash. Tartakovsky will simultaneously be launching online footage from the film.
The Hotel Transylvania movies are a big property for Sony, having grossed a combined $831.6M worldwide across the first two installments. This is the first time Sony, which is known for its 360-fan experiences, is using Cannes as a launchpad for its established IP. It’s been savvy about claiming this pre-opening slot. The Emoji Movie made $218M globally with over 60% coming from overseas, and that’s despite a pretty rotten RT score. The Angry Birds Movie made $352.3M worldwide with about 70% from overseas and it’s got a sequel due next year.
The HT threequel starts offshore play in June and then goes much wider in July, and the Cannes stunt is seen as a nice feeder into the release. Also on deck tomorrow will be 50 school children and the local voice talent from several different markets which will play into the movie’s global appeal.
Among those at the photo-op tomorrow will be Anke Engelke who voices Ericka in Germany; Rick Kavanian who is Drac in Germany; Janina Uhse (Germany’s Mavis); Raya Abirached reppig the UAE voice of Ericka; and Lesia Nikitiuk for Ericka’s Ukraine version.
Sony has bitten with gusto into filling a content opportunity for the world’s media and consumers. Journalists and photographers are routinely on the ground a few days before the curtain rises here. But a question becomes how to illustrate those pieces? Sony has set a new bar in response.