Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is hitting theaters Friday. But the COVID-19 pandemic, with its profound disruptions to new movies, has triggered confusion about streaming movies the same day they’re released in cinemas. An unprecedented wave of theatrical films have been released that way: HBO Max, in particular, became synonymous with the practice last year, but Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Peacock and Netflix have all experimented with same-day releases.
Confusion around this same-day streaming practice has led to some misguided hope among moviegoers when any new movie hits theaters. Without new standards for when movies move to streaming, lots of people get curious whenever a film hits the big screen about whether it’ll be streaming too.
But Sonic 2 is being released exclusively in theaters Friday, without a subscription streaming option.
Where will Sonic the Hedgehog 2 be streaming?
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is expected to stream first on . The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as Paramount Plus.
Will it be ‘free’ to stream?
Paramount Plus has never charged an extra fee to watch a movie on its service. And even though it has two different tiers, it’s never “paywalled” a movie behind the higher-priced membership level. Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, though, so nothing on the service is literally free — unless you watch it while you’re signed up on a free trial. Paramount Plus offers a seven-day free trial standard for all new members.
When is Sonic 2’s streaming release date?
Paramount hasn’t yet confirmed a streaming release date for the Sonic sequel. But understanding the company’s past practice can help to make some educated guesses about when it’ll be available to stream. Paramount Plus has a track record of releasing some movies to stream the same day they hit theaters, while keeping others in cinemas exclusively for weeks before they reach the streaming service.
For movies similar to Sonic, Paramount has tended to give its movies at least 45 days exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus.
But Paramount doesn’t switch a film over to streaming like clockwork. Its most recent theatrical release, Jackass Forever, landed on Paramount Plus almost exactly 45 days after hitting cinemas, but the movie before that, Scream, took roughly a week longer at about 53 days.
If Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows a 45-day timeline, it’ll become available to stream roughly around May 23.
Lately the only films that have been released to stream on Paramount Plus the same day have been family- and kid-oriented movies, like Clifford the Big Red Dog and The Paw Patrol Movie.