SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water–Paramount’s Sequel

Paramount’s sequel The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water should win the North American box-office race ahead of new big-budget entries Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son.

You may recall that the original film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was based on TV’s the SpongeBob cartoons, 11 minutes of free-form, surreal gags, mixed with the high-pitched chortle of the sea-sponge hero.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie had some great bits and a nice soundtrack, but the story was not crazy or funny enough.  Now, a decade later, comes a more entertaining and lunatic picture, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, whose story line is slipshod but offer many loopy pleasures.

It comes across as a big, noisy, and charmingly senseless saga–by conventional standards of a logical plot or narrative structure.  Nonetheless,  Stephen Hillenburg, director Paul Tibbitt, and writers Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel have made an inventive picture, based on their wild imagination

It begins, as usual, with a hairy pirate, who sings the SpongeBob theme, which takes us to the undersea world of Bikini Bottom, with loud music and flowery backdrops. He is played by Antonio Banderas, who finds himself in the middle of an adventure–like quest to steal a magic book. After fighting with a reanimated skeleton and card-playing seagulls, the Pirate begins to read a tale of destruction, collapse, rampaging mobs, and mass starvation.

The cause: The loss of the secret recipe for the wildly addictive Krabby Patties from the Krusty Krab restaurant where SpongeBob works and his friend Patrick the fat and pink starfish eats.

It seemed that Plankton engineered a scheme involving pickle torpedoes, a giant robot, and a coin to get into the Krusty Krab’s safe, but the recipe’s disappearance seems to have another source. The lack of Krabby Patties causes disturbing changes in Patrick and Gary the snail.

Positive hope comes from SpongeBob (vocals by Tom Kenney) and Plankton (“Mr. Lawrence”), who join forces into a team despite Plankton’s inability to pronounce the word team.  Later on, the gang morphs into 3-D figures and Marvel-like superheroes in a battle with the unexpected villain.

Based on Friday box-office traffic, Out of Water should gross between $35 million and $40 million for the weekend, if not more, a nice figure for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies.

The $66 million family title made a nice splash last weekend overseas, where it made $8 million from its first five territories.

Out of Water opens more than a decade after The Spongebob SquarePants Movie surprisingly grossed more of $130 million globally.
The first film was directed by StephenHillenburg, creator of the television show.  This time, series writer and executive producer Paul Tibbitt directs, with regular castmembers Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence and Mr. Lawrence reprising their roles. Antonio Banderas, who plays a villainous pirate, and Slash also star.