While discussing ViacomCBS’ first-quarter results, Bashki revealed Paramount Pictures’ current approach to releasing movies theatrically, given the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The company’s approach involves being flexible as to when titles like Sponge on the Run get released.
“Our film business will depend on theaters opening in major markets,” Bashki explained. “We will obviously look at the market and… if there is sufficient critical mass at theaters to warrant an Aug. 7 SpongeBob release. It is too early to call if it is definitely going to be released or it is definitely not going to be released.”
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run is one of many theatrical movies that has seen its release date delayed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Originally scheduled for release on May 22, Sponge on the Run was delayed to its current Aug. 7 release date in April 2020. This date means it will be the first Paramount Pictures title released since the pandemic began.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will be the third entry in the SpongeBob SquarePants film franchise. Prior entries include box office hits The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015). Unlike its predecessors, Sponge on the Run will render the underwater residents of bikini bottom exclusively in computer animation.
Written and directed by Tom Hill, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run features the voices of Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence, Douglas Lawrence, Reggie Watts and Awkwafina. The film opens August 7.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bashki explained why Paramount is not fully committed to releasing The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on The Run on Aug. 7.