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Warner Bros. has decided to send its animated film Scoob! straight to premium on-demand, versus waiting for theaters to reopen en masse once the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside.
The studio on Tuesday announced that the Scooby Doo movie will become available both to rent and to buy in the home on May 15 for $19.99 and $24.99, respectively. The rental period is 48 hours.
“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,” Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Ann Sarnoff said 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.”
Sarnoff did not mention any plans for the film regarding the streaming service HBO Max, which is set to launch May 27.
Scoob!, boasting an ensemble voice cast that includes Mark Wahlberg and Zac Efron, had been slated for a May 15 theatrical release.
In March, cinema owners were angered when Universal announced it was breaking the theatrical window in order to make Trolls World Tour available both in the home and in any theaters that remained open. The pic, which debuted April 10, scored the biggest first weekend of any digital title in history, according to Universal (no numbers were provided).
Otherwise, both Warner Bros. and Universal — similar to the other major Hollywood studios — have delayed the vast majority of their movies in order to give them a proper theatrical release.
This has mollified cinema owners to a large degree. When Disney announced in recent days its intention to send Artemis Fowl straight to Disney+, there wasn’t the same sort of outcry that surrounded Universal’s decision regarding Trolls World Tour.
Hollywood is currently hoping that theaters will be back in operation by late June and early July. Studios are anticipating that cinemas may have to initially offer popular catalog titles before Warner Bros. opens Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on July 17.
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