Paramount will follow in Universal and Warner Bros' footsteps to move its latest family movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, from theaters to PVOD (premium video-on-demand).
Most major Hollywood studios are now doing it to some extend. Universal with Trolls World Tour and other movies, Warner Bros with Scoob, and Disney with Artemis Fowl and other upcoming theatrical movies that will instead premiere on Disney+.
The SpongeBob Movie is not Paramount's first title to shift to subscription or VOD streaming but it is the studio's first high profile theatrical movie to debut on PVOD (premium VOD) through services such as Apple TV (iTunes), Google Play Movies, FandangoNow, and Vudu. The PVOD premiere has been confirmed for early 2021 in the US.
Some time after the PVOD premiere in early 2021, the movie will head to CBS All Access.
- "We’re happy to give kids and families a much-deserved lift in any way we can, and the PVOD release of the new SpongeBob theatrical and putting all seasons of the TV series on CBS All Access are two of the best ways I can think of to get immersed in the optimism and joy that this terrific character represents," said Ramsey Naito, EVP, Nickelodeon Animation.
Another blow to theaters
It is another blow to the theatrical window and theaters hit by the coronavirus situation. The SpongeBob Movie was scheduled to premiere in theaters in May 2020 but later moved to August 2020 as part of the crucial re-opening phase.
The first SpongeBob movie generated close to $150 at the global box office in 2004 while the second instalment pulled in over $325 million in 2015.
Also read: 'Trolls World Tour' has made more on VOD than 'Trolls' did in theaters
Theaters have not commented publicly on Paramount's move. AMC, the world's largest cinema chain, previously said that it would boycott all Universal movies after the studio's plans to bring more movies to PVOD.
- Source: Paramount