<i>SpongeBob</i> Returning to Theaters

Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants will surface again on the big screen in late 2014 as Paramount Pictures pushes ahead with its animation plans, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

"We will be releasing a SpongeBob movie at the end of 2014, which will serve to start off or be one of our films that starts off our new animation effort," Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman said Tuesday during an investor conference.

In July Viacom-owned Paramount set up a new animation studio to create its own films rather than rely on its deal with DreamWorks Animation, which is coming to a close.

SpongeBob burst onto the scene in 1999 and is still going strong for Nickelodeon. The series spawned its first film in 2004 called, appropriately enough, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which grossed more than $140 million worldwide.

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