Scoob! will skip a theatrical release amid the coronavirus pandemic

By Ale Russian
April 22, 2020 11:34 AM
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Warner Bros. Pictures

16 years after Scooby-Doo and the gang last hit the big screen, their latest adventures will have to settle for small ones amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Scoob! will hit premium digital and PVOD on May 15, the same date it was intended to open in theaters. The animated comedy stars Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, Gina Rodriguez as Velma and Will Forte and Frank Welker as Shaggy and Scooby, respectively. Scoob! also stars Mark Wahlberg as the new character Blue Falcon.

The movie will be available for a 48-hour rental for $19.99. Warner Bros CEO Ann Sarnoff made the announcement on Wednesday.

“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 Sarnoff, according to Deadline. “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! follows the same move made by Trolls World Tour, which bypassed theaters amid the pandemic, to become a hit on digital platforms. The animated sequel — which stars the vocal talents of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick — scored major attention on the small screen, with Universal claiming the film had the largest digital debut for a film.

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Scoob! was set to be the first time that members of the Mystery Inc gang have been seen on the big screen since Warner Bros.’ 2004 live-action film Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

Warner Bros. released the first live-action film for the series in 2002 with Scooby-Doo, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard with Welker voicing Scooby-Doo.

It grossed $275 million at the world box office against a budget of $84 million. Its sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed earned $181 million worldwide with a budget of $80 million.

Scooby-Doo first aired on TV screens in 1969 with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which followed a group of four teenagers and their talking Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, who solve mysteries involving supernatural creatures.