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After Skipping Theaters, SCOOB! is Coming to HBO Max on June 26th

Jason Gurwin

After Warner Bros. released “SCOOB!” via Premium Video On Demand (PVOD) on May 15th, it’s now coming to HBO Max just over a month later. The Warner Bros. animated feature film will be available on the streaming platform on June 26th. HBO Max is available for $14.99 a month after a 7-Day Free Trial.

Will Forte voices Shaggy, Zac Efron is Fred, Gina Rodriguez is the brainy Velma, Amanda Seyfried is Daphne and Frank Welker is Scooby-Doo.

“SCOOB!” centers on how the quartet created Mystery Inc. In the movie, they face the biggest caper of their career — a nefarious plot to send ghost dog Cerberus into the world.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for these ‘meddling kids’ and their dog,’” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president TNT, TBS, and TruTV. “SCOOB! tells the backstory of how these beloved friends met and formed Mystery Inc. It’s a perfect addition to our kids and family offering and will sit alongside beloved original Scooby-Doo episodes.”

The new straight-to-video trend, which has upset theater owners, has been driven by shelter-in-place orders. Without health fears, “SCOOB!” would probably been screened in more than 3,000 theaters. Studios want their films to open in theaters nationwide. To screen in only select states or venues, given ongoing restrictions in New York City, among other urban centers, is tricky, notes IndieWire.

True, some states are seeing success with drive-ins, which are doing far better financially than a year ago. But again, it’s not a nationwide option, and studios are wary of setting a precedent.

Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” directed by Kenneth Branagh, was scheduled for a May 29 movie release, but instead went straight to stream on Disney+ June 12. Given the pandemic, Disney also made “Onward,” a Pixar animated film, available for digital purchase months ahead of schedule. The film hit movie theaters on March 6, but began streaming on Disney+ April 3.

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