The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, the latest big screen SpongeBob outing, will skip cinemas and launch digitally instead.
The third film based on Stephen Hillenburg’s hit Nickelodeon cartoon was due in cinemas on 31 July, but today Paramount has confirmed it will no longer be distributing the film theatrically in the UK and has removed the title from its slate.
This follows news out of North America that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will be made available on premium digital rental services (iTunes etc) early 2021 over there, before streaming exclusively on CBS All Access, the streaming platform of Paramount’s parent company ViacomCBS.
CBS All Access, which is unavailable in the UK, is the home of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard and The Good Fight.
A spokesperson for Paramount UK tells Yahoo it is currently re-formulating plans for international distribution.
In the past Paramount has enjoyed a healthy relationship with Netflix, with a number of its titles – The Lovebirds, The Cloverfield Paradox – being offloaded to the streaming service in lieu of a theatrical release. Beverly Hills Cop 4 is also heading to Netflix rather than receiving theatrical distribution from the studio. Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 could also end up at Netflix.
Written and directed by Tim Hill, Sponge on the Run is set to be the first fully CGI SpongeBob film and will see SpongeBob and Patrick embarking on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring his kidnapped pet snail Gary home.
Hans Zimmer has overseen the music for the film which is being touted as a musical, and fans will get to see the beloved characters as children for the first time ever when it visits Camp Coral, the summer camp where they all met.
It also features cameos from Keanu Reeves, Awkwafina and Snoop Dogg.