Warner Bros. announced on Tuesday that it will release the family animated film “Scoob!” for digital ownership and premium video-on-demand on May 15, making it the second film initially planned for theatrical release to jump straight to home release thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move comes two weeks after the release of Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour,” which was initially set for release in theaters on April 10 but was moved to VOD after theaters worldwide began closing because of the pandemic. While no specific numbers on digital rentals have been reported, “Trolls World Tour” has ranked as the top-selling film on multiple digital rental services, including Google Play and FandangoNOW. Disney has also announced that its adaptation of the young adult novel “Artemis Fowl” will be pulled from theaters for exclusive streaming on Disney+.
While theater owners were displeased by Universal’s decision to move “Trolls” to VOD, both it and other Hollywood studios have kept the overwhelming majority of their upcoming film slate set for theatrical release on a postponed date. Prior to the “Scoob!” announcement, WB announced on Tuesday that it is moving the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” to a theatrical release in summer 2021. WB has also moved the release of the DC blockbuster “Wonder Woman 1984” to this August while its Christopher Nolan sci-fi film “Tenet” is set to be the first big blockbuster theaters may be able to screen if theaters are able to reopen in time for its July 17 release date.
“While we’re all eager to be able to once again show our films in theaters, we’re navigating new, unprecedented times which call for creative thinking and adaptability in how we distribute our content,” said Warner Bros. Chairman/CEO Ann Sarnoff in a statement. “We know fans are eager to see ‘Scoob!’ and we’re delighted we can deliver this feel-good movie for families to enjoy while they’re home together.”
“Scoob!” will be available for a 48-hour rental via Premium Video On Demand for $19.99 or premium digital ownership for $24.99 beginning on Friday, May 15, the date that the film was set to be released in theaters prior to the pandemic. Directed by Tony Cervone, the film stars longtime voice actor Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo with Will Forte, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez and Amanda Seyfried playing Mystery Inc. members Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne. Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong and Tracy Morgan also star in the film, which is intended to be the first installment of a cinematic universe featuring Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters.