The New Spongebob Movie Is Skipping Theaters And Heading To Streaming

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run Patrick and Spongebob are hypnotized by colorful lights

When we began 2020, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run looked like it was going to be one of the many animated experiences audiences would get to marvel at on the big screen. There was even a 3D release planned for this threequel to the Spongebob Squarepants movie saga. However, thanks to current events, a lot of family friendly films have found themselves going to VOD, and this film is no exception. Are ya’ ready, kids? Because The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run is headed to a small screen near you!

Variety caught wind of this new and semi-surprising release plan for Paramount’s potential blockbuster, which was initially supposed to be sent to theaters in 2019, but found itself bounced into various 2020 slots. Now, however, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run will find itself taking the same approach as both Disney’s Onward and Warner Bros’ Scoob!. With the actual date to be determined, Spongebob and Patrick will head to premium VOD in early 2021 as their first port of debut, and will move to CBS All Access as a streaming exclusive some point after.

This latest move comes after Paramount initially moved The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run a July 31 theatrical release date, with an eventual shift to a supposedly final August 7 debut. And yet, in a summer where animated films like Trolls: World Tour have found pretty sizable success porting their release plans into a PVOD/streaming service premiere model, it only seems to make sense that The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run take a cue from its various competitors. Of course, another way at looking at this particular move is that it could be leading to another, bigger play from Paramount.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run could be a test of how well CBS All Access can boost a particular film’s profile upon its debut. Should those numbers land in a favorable enough neighborhood, you could see the studio using Viacom’s proprietary streaming service to debut several other films that have been shifted to the 2021 landscape.

Anything from the Antoine Fuqua/Mark Wahlberg sci-fi action film Infinite to the Chris Pratt sci-fi war flick The Tomorrow War could find their fortunes shifted to the streaming/PVOD model in hopes of keeping the Paramount brand hot and fresh while waiting for the right time to bring movies back to theaters. In the most extreme case, there’s a potential that even the still-on-track 2020 release of John Krasinski’s horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II might find its way to the world through this very same sort of push, as that would be the studio’s best chance at landing a must-see title on the streaming wars battlefield.

For now though, if you’re a parent who was reticent to take your kids to see The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run in a movie theater, you’re off the hook in that respect. However, that just means you’re even more on the hook to rent the film or sign up for CBS All Access, depending on whenever that new 2021 release date happens to land. So keep your browser tuned to CinemaBlend, as we’ll break those details as they develop.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.