Scooby and the gang from Mystery Inc. are heading to HBO Max, mere weeks after debuting on PVOD since the lockdown made a theatrical debut impossible. Scoob! will be streaming on HBO Max starting June 26. The movie had started its online journey with a 48-hour rental PVOD period price of U.S. $19.99, and EST price of $24.99. Now, Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president TNT, TBS, and TruTV, has announced that the film will be joining HBO Max’s lineup of family-oriented content.
“HBO Max is the perfect home for these ‘meddling kids’ and their dog. Scoob! tells the backstory of how these beloved friends met and formed Mystery Inc. It’s a perfect addition to our kids and family offering and will sit alongside beloved original Scooby-Doo episodes.”
Considering the giant, inbuilt fanbase for the Scooby-Doo franchise, many were expecting Scoob! to pull a Trolls World Tour and mint over a $100 million from VOD sales alone. Although numbers for Ssoob! have not been released yet, there are rumors the film did not manage to hit that milestone, which might have been part of the reason why the feature is heading to HBO Max.
Scoob! is a reimagining of the Scooby-Doo universe, starting from the mystery gang’s first meeting as children. The film is also intended to set up the Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe filled with all the characters from the legendary studio. Thus, aside from Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, Scoob! also features Dick Dastardly, Blue Falcon, Dynomutt, Captain Caveman, and other supporting characters from Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
Unfortunately, Scoob! did not get the most glowing reviews upon release. While the film’s smaller comic moments were praised, many reviewers felt the script’s over-reliance on pop-culture references and eagerness to set up an extended cinematic universe led to an overstuffed plot and a Scooby-Doo story that had very little to do with the original’s shows ‘teen detectives’ roots.
HBO Max is in dire need of programming that appeals to a wide variety of audiences for its debut. The airing of the Friends reunion special was seen as a major step in that direction until the lockdown destroyed any chances of it happening. Now, hopefully, Scoob! will help turn young viewers onto the streaming service and away from the juggernaut that is the Disney+ platform for that particular demographic.
The question now is, what will be the fate of the Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe following the mixed reception to Scoob!?. The Scooby-Doo franchise was the strongest arrow in their quiver, and seeing it fizzle out is sure to lead to some serious soul-searching on the part of the producers in terms of where the series is headed. Perhaps the fact that Scoob! did not set the world of PVOD on fire will prompt its makers to reboot and give the franchise a fresh start, hopefully, this time hewing more closely to the source material which remains beloved to this day the world over. Scoob! begins streaming on HBO Max next week. This news was first reported at Deadline.