- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Philippe Dauman, the president and CEO of Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, told a group of investors at a conference that the studio plans on releasing a new Spongebob Squarepants movie in late 2014. He said that the new film will be the start of a new attempt by Paramount to get into the animation business.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Mauman told a Deutsche Bank media and telecom investor conference in Palm Beach, FL of the new film. Mauman’s appearance was webcast. “We will be releasing a SpongeBob movie at the end of 2014, which will serve to start off or be one of our films that starts off our new animation effort,” he told the investors.
The news comes after a string of events that prove that Paramount is ready to get into the animation feature business itself. Last July, it announced that it was creating its own animation department as its highly successful distribution contract with DreamWorks Animation, the makers of Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, ends this year. The deal has not been renewed and Mauman made no mention of a deal in the future. Rango, which was not made by Dreamworks, was an incredible success for Paramount, winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
Last week it was announced that the first head of the animation department, David Stainton, suddenly resigned. The head of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group, Adam Goodman, is now leading the animation department.
Spongebob remains a highly successful property. As ComingSoon.net notes, the show has been on air since it premiered over a decade ago on Nickelodeon, retaining its star voice cast, including Tom Kenny as Spongebob. In 2004, the first Spongebob film was released and was a success, grossing $85 million with a $30 million budget.
Mauman stressed to the investors that a new film would be an even bigger worldwide hit now that Spongebob has become more popular around the world since 2004. He added that a traditionally animated film should cost less than $100 million to make, making them great investments.