“#‘Scoob!’ Heading to HBO Max Very Soon – Could This Speedy Turnaround be the New Normal?”
Scoob!, the feature-length animated origin story of how Scooby-Doo and Shaggy helped established Mystery, Inc., that iconic group of teenage crime-solvers, debuted on paid video on demand services just over a month ago on May 15, 2020. Today, WarnerMedia announced that Scoob! will have its exclusive streaming premiere on HBO Max. That part was expected – it’s the immediacy of the streaming premiere date that’s the surprising part. Get the details below, and join us as we ponder whether this could set a new precedent in a post-COVID world.
Warner Bros. announced that Scoob! will be available to stream on HBO Max starting on June 26, 2020. That’s just 42 days after its premiere, which is a far cry from the traditional windows that used to dominate the way the home video industry worked. But because of theater closures due to the coronavirus, studios have been forced to take drastic actions in an attempt to make some money on these movies. In the case of family-friendly animated features, that has often meant releasing the films straight to paid Video On Demand – a move that has occasionally angered theater exhibitors.
The conversation about shrinking windows has been raging for years…it just took a worldwide pandemic to shift it from the theoretical to the practical. And now that the template has been established, we’re wondering what things are going to look like at the end of the tunnel, when the virus is on its heels and the world safely returns to its old ways.
So far this year, only Disney has made the jump from PVOD to streaming faster than 42 days, and that was with Onward, a movie which initially debuted in theaters before those doors were suddenly shut. (Onward was made available for digital rental on March 20 and then went to Disney on April 3, which is only a 14-day period.) Could Warner Bros. be setting a new precedent with Scoob? Will audiences get used to these shortened windows and demand that this become the new normal in a post-coronavirus world? Or is this just a temporary power play for studios that are eager to return to their familiar patterns once this whole thing clears? These studios are all competing, yes, but they also often act in concert with one another when it comes to large issues like this. Could the actions of a single studio create a ripple effect that forever changes the business?
The first feature-length animated Scooby-Doo adventure, Scoob! reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global “dogpocalypse,” the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
You can read our Scoob! review here.
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