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Warner Bros. movie ‘Scoob’ heads to home video in May amid coronavirus theater closures

The characters of the "Scooby Doo" TV show.
The characters of the “Scooby Doo” TV show.
(Warner Bros.)

Zoinks! Warner Bros.’ computer-animated movie “Scoob” is hitting video on-demand on May 15, making it the latest film to forgo a traditional theatrical release during the coronavirus shutdowns.

The big-screen adaptation of the classic “Scooby Doo” cartoon, which was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on May 15, will be available for a 48-hour rental on VOD platforms for $19.99 and purchase for $24.99.

Directed by Warner Bros. Animation veteran Tony Cervone, “Scoob!” features the voices of Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, Gina Rodriguez as Velma and Will Forte as Shaggy.

Warner Bros. is the latest major studio to effectively skip the theatrical window for a new film during the COVID-19 pandemic. Universal Pictures earlier this month released “Trolls World Tour” for a $20 digital rental. Universal did not disclose sales numbers but said the release was successful. Disney recently said its live-action “Artemis Fowl” would premiere on Disney+ rather than in theaters. And Paramount sold its comedy “The Lovebirds,” starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, to Netflix.

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Only a dozen or so drive-in cinemas remain open in the U.S., which has forced studios to get creative. Warner Bros. has brought recent releases such as “Birds of Prey” to the home much earlier than expected because of the multiplex closures. But until now, the studio has pushed new releases to later dates rather than skipping theaters.

Theaters normally get exclusive access to new movies for an average of 90 days, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, studios appear increasingly willing to test the demand for home entertainment, especially for content that appeals to kids.

“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,” said Warner Bros. Chief Executive Ann Sarnoff in a statement.

From the latest James Bond to “The Batman,” many high-profile films are rescheduling their release dates to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 in movie theaters and other large gatherings. Here’s a working list of all the film releases affected by coronavirus.

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