Paramount Pictures has announced it will release “Sonic the Hedgehog” on digital release earlier than planned, March 31. This is due to the growing push from other big studios to release their year’s recent content on VOD platforms due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” released in theaters February 14 after months of redesigned graphics of the titular character that followed with social media backlash when the trailer initially debuted online. The film follows Sonic as he comes to Earth and befriends Tom (James Marsden). The two set out to defend the world from game archenemy, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). The characters are based on the designs by Hirokazu Yasuhara, who first animated these ideas for the Sega console debut. Sonic would grow to become Sega’s most prized mascot.
The film, directed by Jeff Fowler (“Gopher Broke”), earned over $146 million at the domestic box office, and over $306 million at the worldwide level. It also stars Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Carrey, Schwartz, James Marsden, Neal McDonough and Adam Pally.
In other recent shifts from studios to reconfigure home streaming releases, Warner Bros’ “Birds of Prey” was moved up to VOD release for March, 24. Their latest, the Ben Affleck drama “The Way Back,” will also be moved to VOD platforms for $19.99 on March 24. Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” has landed on digital release, as well as Disney+ streaming on April 3.
Lionsgate has also postponed the theatrical releases of “Antebellum,” “Run,” and “Spiral,” due to the growing concern and precaution the film industry as a whole is taking to navigate the current pandemic. With the decisions of many titles now arriving on digital sooner, this raises the prospects of viewer purchases during these times when many families will be staying in to combat the global pandemic. The industry continues to endure the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, with more news in the coming weeks on how that change will be handled for the summer releases.