Superheroes are pretty ubiquitous in pop culture nowadays, and that will become increasingly true over the next few years (on the big screen and small screen alike). Heck, even SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends are getting a super power upgrade in 2015’s live-action/animation feature, titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
Those who missed the first trailer (or just need more SpongeBob in their lives – we don’t judge) can now catch a second preview for The SpongeBob Movie online (see above), teasing even more kid-friendly antics and cartoon zaniness feature in the film. Plot-wise, the movie involves a pirate named Burger-Beard (Antonio Banderas) stealing the secret formula for the Krabby Patty – leading SpongeBob and his pals to travel into the real world (where they become 3D animated characters) in an effort to recover the coveted recipe.
The SpongeBob Movie was directed by Paul Tibbitt, who shares story credit on the film with his fellow SpongeBob SqaurePants TV series alum, Stephen Hillenburg. However, the movie’s screenplay was penned by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger – the duo that scripted the first two Kung Fu Panda movies, as well as the upcoming Kung Fu Panda 3 and next year’s DreamWorks’ animated feature Monsters Trucks.
On the other hand, Aibel and Berger also wrote the second and third live-action/CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks films. Chances are, their screenplay for the SpongeBob Movie will probably be more on the level of Chipmunks, rather than their storytelling work on the Panda franchise (which manages to provide both kid-friendly silliness and richer material for younger audiences).
2015 will bring with it a pair of original Pixar animated offerings (Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur), along with the aforementioned Kung Fu Panda 3 and a handful of additional movies (see: Peanuts) that may offer quality family-friendly entertainment for moviegoers. SpongeBob Movie, of course, is a whole different sort of kids feature than those mentioned here, and will have the family audience to itself early next year.
Question is, now that the SpongeBob Squarepants property isn’t quite as popular as it was back in the 2000s, whether or not filmgoers will pay the current ticket price to see SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, etc., on the big screen (and in 3D if they so choose). The first SpongeBob movie made $140 million worldwide, but that was ten years ago now; not to mention, that film cost half as much to produce as this new installment.
Which is to say, we might not the yellow fellow on the big screen again after this… for better or worse.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opens in U.S. theaters on February 6th, 2015.