Paramount Pictures recently severed its ties with DreamWorks Animation as the partnership comes to an end at the close of this year. The studio had previously distributed DreamWorks Animation’s films, but now its sights are set on its own animation output. Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman announced today (via THR) that a new SpongeBob SquarePants movie will kick off Paramount’s new animation effort with a release targeted for the end of 2014. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was released in 2004 to a mediocre response (it grossed $85.4 million domestically and $54.7 million worldwide), but Dauman said today that Nickelodeon “did not have as much of a presence around the world” back then, assuring investors that the outlook for their new SpongeBob movie has bright prospects. Hit the jump for more.
The studio’s first fully owned CGI effort was last year’s terrific Rango, so I’m hoping we’ll see more along those lines in the future. Each new animated film will cost the company less than $100 million due to advances in technology, so Dauman sees this new venture into animation as a smart business opportunity. Pixar and DreamWorks basically dominate the animation world, but I’d be more than happy to see some quality output from another studio.
No details regarding the plot of the new SpongeBob movie were given, but I’m assuming it will chronicle the misadventures of one goofy talking sponge and his dimwitted starfish pal. Watch the trailer for the first movie below: