Hotel Transylvania 2 hits theaters this weekend, following in the footsteps of 2012's Hotel Transylvania. The first film in the series was somewhat of an anomaly in that it was an Adam Sandler-led movie with a Rotten Tomatoes score above 40 percent, and even earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Film. Critical appreciation aside, the film also ranks as Sony Pictures Animation's highest-earning film domestically, with a total haul of over $148 million. Clearly the sequel has its work cut out for it, but given the success of the original, will there be a third Hotel Transylvania movie?
As of right now, it's simply too early to tell. A third movie definitely seems like a possibility, especially if Hotel Transylvania 2 can generate the same kinds of numbers the first one did, but no third installment has been announced as of yet. What has been announced is a new television series based on the franchise. The Hotel Transylvania animated series is currently in development, and is slated to debut in early 2017, though no network has been announced.
Regardless of the franchise's TV ambitions, a third film in the series would not be unheard of. There are plenty of other animated film franchises that have made it to trilogy status, and they're all extremely successful, such was:
The first animated franchise to reach a third film, Shrek is an absolute powerhouse at the box office. With four films now under its belt, along with a Puss in Boots spinoff, Shrek is the highest-grossing animated franchise by a mile.
The second-highest ranked animated franchise when it comes to dollars and cents is also the only one other than Shrek to already have four movies in its series. Ice Age even plans on adding to its total in the future; it's scheduled to debut an unprecedented fifth film, Ice Age: Collision Course , next year.
You don't need me to tell you there was a Toy Story 3. The third film in the original Disney/Pixar franchise is considered one of the greatest animated movies of all time, and was the first animated film to make a billion dollars at the box office. A fourth movie is scheduled, somewhat surprisingly, and fans hope it can deliver more of the same magic.
Often living in the shadow of studio DreamWorks Animation's main franchise, Shrek, Madagascar is no slouch. The series has a proper trilogy, along with a spinoff centered on the series' popular penguins. A fourth film in the series is currently under consideration.
Kung Fu Panda
Jack Black voicing a fat, karate-fighting bear is apparently a formula for success. Although only two Kung Fu Panda movies have been seen so far, a third is on the way in just a couple of months. The third film is directed by Jennifer Yuh, who became the first woman to ever direct a major Hollywood animated feature when she helmed Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011.
If this series continues at the pace it's going, it has a real shot at dethroning Shrek. The first two Despicable Me movies were massive hits, bringing in close to $1.5 billion combined worldwide. Their spinoff film earlier this summer, Minions , was even bigger, becoming just the third animated film to cross the $1 billion mark at the box office. The table is set for what could be a record-breaking performance when Despicable Me 3 schemes its way into theaters in June of 2017.
How To Train Your Dragon
One of the most critically-acclaimed animated franchises, Hotel Transylvania could learn a thing or two from How to Train Your Dragon. The franchise has delayed its third installment in favor of a television series on Netflix, presumably to garner even more interest, but it will officially cross the trilogy threshold in 2018 with the release of the third film.
Everyone's least-favorite Pixar franchise is getting a third movie. The main theory floating around is that Cars movies keep getting made because they make a ton of money on the back end from merchandise sales, but hey, as long as those dollars continue to finance ridiculously good original films like Up and Inside Out, then I'm all for it!
Hotel Transylvania will join a crowded (and very rich) field should the studio decide to turn the franchise into a trilogy.
Images: Columbia Pictures