Waiting is the hardest part. This is a constantly true fact, though that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. And today, on November 4, 2020, it is an especially difficult fact. I’m talking about, of course, the American release of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. In an alternate timeline, we would’ve already seen this film in theaters on Memorial Day weekend this year. Instead, thanks to something that rhymes with “schomonaschmirus,” the new SpongeBob Movie is heading to Netflix starting tomorrow, November 5! Great news, right? Well, for most of the world, yes; per CartoonBrew, this release is only for international countries. But for the United States of America and Canada (who actually got a chance to see the film in theaters this August), we still have to wait until 2021 to see the thing — and it won’t be on Netflix. Ugh, today is so especially hard to be an American!
We previously reported that Sponge on the Run will come to America in 2021 in a sort of “reverse Mulan“ situation. First, it will debut on PVOD services for digital rentals, before moving to its permanent streaming home on CBS All Access — er, sorry, that’s now “Paramount+”. And even though the world is getting it on Netflix tomorrow (in a deal that placed some of the financial burden of the film on the streaming studio, alongside Paramount), the U.S. is still stuck in our PVOD/Paramount+ purgatory. And the film’s director, Tim Hill, ain’t exactly thrilled about that!
In an interview with Looper, Hill said this, frankly, about his movie’s strange path to being seen: “It’s terrible. I was hoping for a big fanfare and a great premiere and seeing all the people I worked with, and doing a cast and crew screening, being able to at least thank people, which never happened. It was just what we’re doing now, like, ‘Bye. Movie’s over.’ It didn’t feel natural, for sure.” Hill is saying what many of us cinephiles and filmmakers are thinking: Consuming stuff is tough without that mass audience feeling. Here’s hoping Sponge on the Run can make a big splash when it does finally hit our shores.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run comes to Netflix November 5 in international territories, and to PVOD services and eventually on Paramount+ in the U.S. sometime in 2021.