In what’s becoming a very familiar pattern in these coronavirus days, another movie is skipping its intended theatrical release and instead going straight to VOD. Scoob!, an animated origin story of sorts for the characters of the Scooby-Doo franchise, was scheduled to open on May 15. And the movie will indeed be available on May 15 — but it will premiere at home on demand.

In a statement, Warner Bros. chairman Ann Sarnoff said “while we’re all eager to be able to once again show our films in theaters, we’re navigating new, unprecedented times which call for creative thinking and adaptability in how we distribute our content. We know fans are eager to see Scoob! and we’re delighted we can deliver this feel-good movie for families to enjoy while they’re home together.” The film will cost $19.99 for a 48-hour rental, or $24.99 to purchase it permanently.

This news comes on the heels of Universal bypassing theaters to release Trolls World Tour direct to home video. The studio didn’t release any numbers or financial figures, but they claimed that it was the biggest opening day and opening weekend for a VOD release ever. So why are some movies going to video and some getting delayed? It’s all about economics. Some movies are too big to recoup their investment on home video. To offset all that lost revenue, these early VOD releases are almost all coming with a $20 price tag. For most viewers to justify that cost, a movie needs to be watched by multiple members of a household — which is why the VOD route makes more sense for Trolls World Tour and now Scoob!, because families are going to watch them together. (Or maybe parents are just more willing to pay a premium to get their kids to sit quietly for 90 minutes.)

Here’s the trailer for Scoob!

And here’s it’s official synopsis:

The first full-length animated Scooby-Doo adventure for the big screen is the never-before told stories of Scooby-Doo’s origins and the greatest mystery in the career of Mystery Inc. “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.

Would you pay $20 to watch or ($25 to buy) a Scooby-Doo movie? I suppose it’s not that much more than the cost of a new release Blu-ray. Then again, those tend to come with special features. Then again again, we’re all trapped in the house and need something to watch.

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Gallery — More Movies That Have Gotten Early VOD Releases: