Your guide to a better future
The Sonic sequel was released exclusively in theaters at first, and when it does start streaming, don’t expect to find it on Disney Plus.
Joan E. Solsman
Joan E. Solsman is CNET’s senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She’s reported from locations spanning Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit theaters — and only theaters — on April 8 and hasn’t made it to streaming in the weeks since. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its profound disruptions to the standards for how movies are released, has triggered confusion about the timing around when new movies hit a streaming service, which has been all over the map. And the dizzying array of streaming services doesn’t make it simple to know which service is destined to stream which movie.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is expected to stream first on Paramount Plus. The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as Paramount Plus.
Paramount hasn’t yet confirmed a streaming release date for the Sonic sequel. But understanding the company’s past practice can help with educated guesses about when it’ll be available to stream.
For movies similar to Sonic 2, Paramount has tended to give its movies at least 45 days exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus. If Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows a 45-day timeline, it’ll become available to stream roughly around May 23.
But Paramount doesn’t switch a film over to streaming like clockwork. Jackass Forever, released in theaters in February, 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.
Lately the only films that have been released to stream on Paramount Plus the same day as they hit theaters have been family- and kid-oriented movies, like Clifford the Big Red Dog and The Paw Patrol Movie.
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.