ViacomCBS has confirmed plans to mobilize two key SpongeBob SquarePants properties for the March 4 U.S. launch of revamped streaming service Paramount+.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, initially slated to be a 2020 theatrical title before the onset of Covid-19, will stream on Paramount+, as CBS Access will be known after the forthcoming rebrand. The film will also arrive March 4 as a premium video on demand release priced as a $20 rental. (Check above to watch the new trailer for the film, which features live-action cameos by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.)
Prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, the first spinoff of the 22-year-old Nickelodeon original, will have its first six episodes on Paramount+ when it launches March 4. The rest of the 13-episode season will appear “at later dates to be announced,” the company said.
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After its streaming run, the show will air on Nickelodeon.
As it coped with the pandemic’s effects, Paramount opted to sell foreign rights to the film to Netflix, though Sponge on the Run did see some theatrical playtime in Canada when the virus receded there last summer. Paramount has postponed the releases of titles like Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place 2, due to Covid. Still, industry speculation has centered on whether the studio could make a splash and drive subscriptions by re-routing a big title to streaming, as have Disney and Warner Bros. CBS All Access subscription numbers have never been broken out in corporate reports, but the five-year-old service is believed to have more than 8 million paying customers.
Paramount+, which will combine the CBS All Access offering with a number of new originals and elements, will debut March 4 in the U.S. and Latin America. It will arrive in the Nordics on March 25 and in Australia by the middle of the year, the company announced last week. On February 24, ViacomCBS plans to provide detailed guidance for the rollout of the service in an investor day.
Family properties nurtured by Nickelodeon are likely to play a key role in the streaming service. SpongeBob’s corporate sister, Dora the Explorer, was prominently featured in an ad for Paramount+ that premiered last Sunday during the highly viewed AFC Championship Game telecast on CBS.
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