Last Sunday, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation became the first Arabic-dubbed animated feature to be released in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year, The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants made history when they became the first films to screen theatrically in Saudi Arabia after a 35-year ban on movie theaters.

The Arabic-dubbed version of HT3 stars the voices of tv personalities Raya Abirached and Qusai Kheder. They attended several premieres across the region, in Dubai, U.A.E.; Beirut, Lebanon; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The film, retitled Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation in the region, is released by Empire International, the exclusive theatrical distributor of Sony Pictures Releasing International in the Middle East. Empire also released an English-language version of the film simultaneously.

“The first two Hotel Transylvania films found huge success in the Middle East,” said Mario Jr. Haddad, president of distribution company Empire International. “With the Arabic version, we are very confident that Saudi audiences will fall in love with the franchise, particularly with the presence of our beloved dubbing talent in Qusai and Raya Abirached.”

Qusai Kheder voices Dracula in the Arabic version, while Raya Abirached (Scoop with Raya, Arabs Got Talent) voices ship captain Ericka. Abirached said in a statement, “As a mother and an avid theatergoer myself, I understand the need for more Arabized content and so to be able to contribute to filling this need in the market is such an honor!”

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority anticipates opening 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by the year 2030, and has projected that the movie industry will generate more than US$24 billion, creating 30,000 permanent jobs and 130,000 temporary jobs.

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