Sponge on the Run Sponge on the Run

It is a scene that has played out repeatedly all over the world from Spain to Japan, and this weekend, it happened in Canada: an animated film took the top spot at a newly reopened box office market.

The animated choice for Canadians was Paramount Animation’s The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which grossed approximately $900,000 from 300 theaters. If the number seems small, bear in mind that not all movie theaters have reopened in Canada (between 80-85% are back) and the ones that have are restricting capacity to between 20-40% of the seating in auditoriums.

This was the first weekend in Canada where Hollywood released new films, and the other newcomer, Solstice Studios’s Unhinged starring Russell Crowe, came in second with $582,000. According to Deadline, which reported the studio numbers, moviegoers for both Spongebob and Unhinged were “more prominent in the suburbs than the city.”

As of this moment, Canada is one of the only countries that will enjoy a theatrical release for Sponge on the Run. In the U.S, ViacomCBS has announced that the film won’t be released until early 2021, and even then, only on premium video on demand. After its PVOD window, the film will be available on ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access streaming service.

Netflix has picked up international rights to the film, and will release in all territories it operates excluding the United States. The streamer had previously indicated that it would also make the feature available in Canada after its current theatrical run.

(Finally, a disclaimer: While it’s nice to see animation doing well at the box office, Cartoon Brew doesn’t encourage anyone in North America to go see a movie during the middle of a raging deadly pandemic, and I personally won’t be setting foot in a movie theater anytime this year and probably long after. Here’s a commentary about why movie theaters are danger zones, despite what the theater owners are telling the public.)

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