To the growing list of family films that have abandoned theatrical releases in favor of video on demand during the coronavirus pandemic, we can now add The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the RunThis third SpongeBob SquarePants movie — the first rendered in 3D CGI style — was originally scheduled to open in theaters on the winter of 2019. It was pushed back several times until it arrived at a May 22, 2020 debut that was then postponed because of the pandemic.

Sponge on the Run was previously rescheduled for a release on August 7, but now it will instead premiere on VOD before it becomes available exclusively on Viacom’s CBS All Access streaming service in 2021. The site is also touting that it will soon add SpongeBob SquarePants episodes as part of an “expansion” of its catalog.

The move comes after several other high-profile spring and early summer family films skipped theaters and did relatively well on VOD, including Universal’s Trolls World Tour and Warner Bros.’ Scoob. Movie theaters around the country are preparing to reopen in mid-July in time for blockbusters like Mulan and Tenet, but even as those plans are underway coronavirus cases are beginning to rise again in numerous parts of the United States.

Here was the official synopsis of Sponge on the Run:

After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.

Also Keanu Reeves is in it. Hopefully he’s okay with this decision.

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