Spongebob floats as theaters slowly open

Spongebob makes an appearance!

Although theaters are beginning to cautiously open their doors during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there aren’t many major new releases available for audiences brave enough to venture out for some big-screen entertainment.

Paramount took advantage of that shortage of options by releasing THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN into 300 theaters in Canada, and pulled in $900,000 for the weekend. The PG-rated Nickelodeon ‘toon was originally scheduled for release on Memorial Day weekend way back before things went to hell (it’s now planned for a 2021 release on VOD in the US).

Everyone’s favorite yellow subaquatic citizen previously splashed into theaters with THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE, which swam away with $85 million domestic and $141 million worldwide in 2004, followed by 2015’s THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER with a $162 million domestic total and $325 million worldwide.

The Russell Crowe thriller UNHINGED won’t arrive in North American theaters until next weekend, but has been playing elsewhere around the world and so far it’s driven away with around $8 million.

Of its current global total, $582,000 came from Canada theaters over this past weekend. The R-rated road rage story, which had previously been given the optimistic North American release date of July 1, cost a reported $33 million.

Among the releases currently showing on drive-in theater screens and in small independent cinemas, writer-director David Ayer‘s THE TAX COLLECTOR collected $203k over the weekend. The R-rated crime drama with Shia LaBeouf and Bobby Soto has a ten-day domestic total of $634k (the movie is also available on VOD).

Actor Dave Franco‘s feature directing debut with the R-rated horror movie THE RENTAL also continues to do solid business (all things considered) and is up to a total of $1.3 million after creeping out moviegoers for the past month.

The apocalypse thriller GREENLAND has also landed on screens in several countries including France, Taiwan and Norway, and has so far gathered a total of $4.5 million.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (ANGEL HAS FALLEN), the PG-13 disaster movie features Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin seeking shelter from a comet on the titular landmass (the project was originally a Chris Evans vehicle with director Neill Blomkamp). The $34 million release from STXfilms is scheduled for September 25 in North America.

Elsewhere around the planet, older movies are being regurgitated onto cinema screens for movie fans who are eager to briefly escape their homes. Christopher Nolan‘s INTERSTELLAR and INCEPTION (on its 10th anniversary) have made their way back into international theaters, and have respectively earned an additional $16 million and $1.6 million. And HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE got re-released in China over the weekend for $13.6 million, pushing the 2001 fantasy close to a $1 billion global total.

If everything goes according to current plans, the endlessly delayed X-MEN spinoff THE NEW MUTANTS will finally (!!!) appear in movie theaters later this month, Christopher Nolan‘s top-secret TENET will start to make its way around the world, the Russell Crowe thriller UNHINGED rages onto more screens, and the comedy sequel BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC hits both the multiplex and VOD.

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