BILL & TED 3 And THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE Could Be The Next Films To Skip Theaters And Head Straight To Digital

According to a new report, Bill and Ted Face the Music and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run could both be heading to digital this summer, but don't expect any major blockbuster to join them...

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent global theater shut down, nearly every major studio has been forced to either push back their biggest releases or bring them to digital several months ahead of schedule. Now, with the summer movie season effectively canceled, we're getting a clearer picture on which films may be moved next.

Speaking with CNN Business, Exhibitor Relations senior analyst Jeff Bock speculates that among the upcoming summer releases left on the calendar, Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (August 7) and Orion's Bill & Ted Face the Music (August 21) are the most likely movies to skip theaters and head straight to VOD. 

"We just don't know at this point what the world will look like in June and July, but what we do know is if studios are planning to release these films in theaters, they'd have to begin advertising them right now. That's more money that they might be risking. That's why some of these films make a lot of sense going straight to digital."

While nothing is set in stone, if the films do forgo the traditional theatrical release and head straight to digital, they'd be joining Universal's Trolls World Tour, Warner Bros.' Scoob!, and Disney's Artemis Fowl, all of which have already made similar moves.

However, while some films with smaller budgets may find a digital release appealing, don't bet on any major release with a production budget north of $100 million to jump to digital anytime soon. This long list would include, but is not limited to, the likes of Marvel's Black Widow, MGM's No Time to Die, Universal's F9, Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman 1984, Disney's Mulan, and Warner Bros.' Tenet.

Boxoffice.com chief analyst Shawn Robbins says, "Unless there is a drastic setback from current plans to gradually reopen cinemas, I wouldn't bet on it. The blockbusters remaining on the schedule have too much dependency on box office revenue."

In the case of Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated Tenet, which is still currently set to open in July, Bock adds, "Unless aliens possess his frontal lobe, Nolan will not cave to the cries of digital, and if Warner Bros. decides digital is the right move, he'll likely never work with them again."

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