Nickelodeon Movies is the theatrical motion picture production arm of the Nickelodeon TV channel. Founded in 1995 and owned by Paramount Players, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, which is itself a subsidiary of National Amusements. the company released its first film ''Harriet the Spy (film), Harriet the Spy'' in 1996. It has produced family features and films based on Nickelodeon programs, as well as other adaptations and original projects. Its films are co-produced and/or distributed by fellow ViacomCBS division Paramount Pictures. The studio's highest-grossing films are ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 film), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' (2014), which grossed $493.3 million worldwide, ''The Adventures of Tintin (film), The Adventures of Tintin'' (2011), which grossed $374 million worldwide, and ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'' (2015), which grossed $325.2 million worldwide. The company has so far has produced over 33 theatrical feature films in total.


Nickelodeon/20th Century Fox deal (1993–95)

In 1993, Nickelodeon agreed to a two-year contract with 20th Century Fox to make feature films. The joint venture would mostly produce new material, though a Nickelodeon executive did not rule out the possibility of making films based on ''The Ren & Stimpy Show'', ''Rugrats'' and ''Doug (TV series), Doug''. None of the movies were produced due to the 1994 acquisition of Paramount Pictures by Nickelodeon's parent company, Viacom (1952–2006), Viacom, and they would distribute the movies instead. With the creative differences with John Kricfalusi, the creator of ''Ren & Stimpy'' and an inability to market that property in a family-friendly manner instead of a "cynical and gross humor" scuttled the film. However, Paramount and Viacom would go forward and start development on ''The Rugrats Movie'' a year after the acquisition. The Nickelodeon version of the ''Doug'' film was not made due to the acquisition of the show's production studio, Jumbo Pictures, by The Walt Disney Company in 1996. With this, the show moved to Disney's American Broadcasting Company, ABC network and new seasons aired as a part of its programming block ''ABC Kids (TV programming block), Disney’s One Saturday Morning'' as ''Disney's Doug''. In 1999, Walt Disney Pictures released a film finale to the series, ''Doug's 1st Movie''.

Nickelodeon Movies (1995–98)

Nickelodeon Movies was then founded on February 25, 1995. On July 10, 1996, the studio released its first film, ''Harriet the Spy (film), Harriet the Spy'', a spy-comedy film based on the 1964 Harriet the Spy, novel of the same name. On July 25, 1997, the studio then released another film, ''Good Burger'', a comedy film, starring Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Abe Vigoda, Dan Schneider (TV producer), Dan Schneider, Shar Jackson, Josh Server, Lori Beth Denberg, Jan Schweiterman, Linda Cardellini and Sinbad (comedian), Sinbad. It was based on the ''Good Burger'' sketch on Nickelodeon's popular sketch comedy series ''All That''. On November 20, 1998, the studio released ''The Rugrats Movie'', Nickelodeon Movies' first animated film and the first Nicktoon to be shown in theaters. It received mixed critical reception, but despite this, the movie became a box office success, earning $100,494,675 in the domestic box office and $140,894,675 worldwide. It also became the first non-Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney animated film to gross over $100 million domestically. The success of the film led to two sequels.


On February 11, 2000, the studio released ''Snow Day (film), Snow Day'', a comedy film starring Chevy Chase, Chris Elliott, Zena Grey, Josh Peck, Mark Webber (actor), Mark Webber, Schuyler Fisk, Jade Yorker and Emmanuelle Chriqui. This film met negative reviews, yet it grossed $62,464,731 worldwide. Nine months later, the studio released ''Rugrats in Paris: The Movie'' on November 17, 2000. It is the first sequel to ''The Rugrats Movie'', and grossed $76,507,756 at the domestic box-office and $103,291,131 worldwide. The film received favorable reviews, becoming the most critically acclaimed ''Rugrats'' film to date. On December 21, 2001, the studio released its first Computer-generated imagery, CGI animated film, ''Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius''. It is based on a series of shorts that aired on Nickelodeon in 1998. It became a critical and box-office success, earning $80,936,232 in the United States and $102,992,536 worldwide. It stars voice actors Debi Derryberry, Rob Paulsen, Carolyn Lawrence, Jeffrey Garcia, and Candi Milo, and co-starred Martin Short and Patrick Stewart. On March 24, 2002, this movie was nominated for the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to ''Shrek (film), Shrek''. It is the first Nickelodeon film to be nominated for an Academy Award. The success of the film spawned this film into a TV series, ''The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius'', which aired on Nickelodeon from 2002 to 2006. On March 29, 2002, the studio released ''Clockstoppers'', a sci-fi action film, starring Jesse Bradford, Paula Garcés, and French Stewart. This film received negative reviews and was a box office disappointment, only earning $36,989,956 in the United States and $38,793,283 worldwide.


On June 28, 2002, Nickelodeon Movies released ''Hey Arnold!: The Movie'', starring Hey Arnold!, the series' List of Hey Arnold! characters, original cast members and guest starring Paul Sorvino as Scheck, the CEO of a real estate company called Future Tech Industries (FTI). The film received negative reviews and grossed $15.2 million. It was originally going to be a TV film entitled ''Arnold Saves the Neighborhood'', but executives of Paramount Pictures decided to release this film theatrically. It was the first animated film from Nickelodeon to get a PG rating. In 2002 and 2003, the studio, along with Klasky Csupo, released two films based on popular TV shows, ''The Wild Thornberrys Movie'' and ''Rugrats Go Wild'', respectively. ''The Wild Thornberrys Movie'' was released on December 20, 2002, starring the show's original cast members, Lacey Chabert, Tim Curry, Jodi Carlisle, Danielle Harris, Michael "Flea" Balzary, and Tom Kane. This film received positive reviews and was a box office success. It only grossed $40.1 million domestically and $60.7 million worldwide. On March 23, 2003, this film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. ''Rugrats Go Wild'' was later released on June 13, 2003. This film met with mixed critical reception and was a minor box office success, unlike previous ''Rugrats'' movies, only earning $39.4 million in the United States and $55.4 million worldwide. This film is also the only ''Rugrats'' film to receive a PG rating. On November 19, 2004, Nickelodeon released ''The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie'', based on the popular Nickelodeon television series, ''SpongeBob SquarePants''. This film received positive reviews and grossed $85.4 million in the United States and $140.2 million worldwide. The success of this film led to a sequel, and it was adapted into various media, including its The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (video game), own video game, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie – Music from the Movie and More..., soundtrack, books, and toy line.


With the release of ''The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie'', Nickelodeon Movies returned to making box-office hits. The studio purchased the film rights of the ''A Series of Unfortunate Events'' book series in May 2000. Paramount Pictures, owner of Nickelodeon Movies, agreed to co-finance, along with Scott Rudin. Various directors, including Terry Gilliam and Roman Polanski, were interested in making the film. One of author Daniel Handler's favorite candidates was Guy Maddin. In June 2002, Barry Sonnenfeld was hired to direct. He was chosen because he had previously collaborated with Rudin and because of his black comedy directing style as seen in ''The Addams Family (1991 film), The Addams Family'', ''Addams Family Values'' and ''Get Shorty (film), Get Shorty''. Sonnenfeld referred to the ''Lemony Snicket'' books as his favorite children's stories. The director hired Handler to write the script with the intention of making ''Lemony Snicket'' as a musical, and cast Jim Carrey as Count Olaf in September 2002. Sonnenfeld eventually left over budget concerns in January 2003 and director Brad Silberling took over. This film was released on December 17, 2004, a month after ''The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie'' was released. It received positive reviews and became a huge box office success, earning $118,634,549 at the United States box office and $209,073,645 worldwide. This film won an Academy Award for Best Makeup in 2005. In 2005, the studio and Paramount Classics purchased a documentary film, ''Mad Hot Ballroom'', at the 2005 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It became the studios' first (and, so far, only) documentary film and their only film to have a limited release, limited theatrical release. It grossed $8,117,961 in the United States and $9,079,042 worldwide. It also was a huge critical success. Several months later, the studio and Paramount Pictures released their first co-production with both Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwyn Mayer and released a family comedy film, ''Yours, Mine and Ours (2005 film), Yours, Mine and Ours'', a remake of the Yours, Mine and Ours (1968 film), 1968 film of the same name. This film stars Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo. This film was critically panned, but was a modest box office success, earning $53,412,862 in the United States and $72,028,752 worldwide. On June 16, 2006, Nickelodeon released the wrestling comedy film ''Nacho Libre''. It is very loosely based on the story of Fray Tormenta. This film stars Jack Black, Héctor Jiménez, and Ana de la Reguera. This film met with mixed critical reception, but was a box office success, earning $80,197,993 in the domestic box office and grossed $99,255,460 worldwide. A sequel to this film is being considered. Two months later, the studio released another CGI film, ''Barnyard (film), Barnyard'', starring the voices of Kevin James, as Otis, a carefree cow who loves throwing parties, David Koechner as Dag, an evil coyote, Sam Elliott as Ben, Otis's father and the leader of the barnyard, and voice actors Cam Clarke, Jeffrey Garcia, Jeff Garcia, S. Scott Bullock, Maurice LaMarche, John DiMaggio, Fred Tatasciore, and Rob Paulsen. This film met with negative critical reception, but was a box office success, earning $72,637,803 at the United States box office and grossed $116,476,887 worldwide. Like ''Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius'', the film's success has spawned into a TV show, ''Back at the Barnyard'', which ran from 2007 to 2011 on Nickelodeon, longer than ''The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius''. Chris Hardwick replaced Kevin James as the role for Otis. On December 15, 2006, the studio released ''Charlotte's Web (2006 film), Charlotte's Web'', a family drama film based on E. B. White's popular Charlotte's Web, book of the same name, starring Dakota Fanning, Kevin Anderson (actor), Kevin Anderson, Beau Bridges, and the voices of Dominic Scott Kay, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, with Thomas Haden Church and Cedric the Entertainer. This film became a critical and box office success, earning $82,985,708 in the United States and $144,877,632 worldwide. This is Nickelodeon's first G-rated film in five years and first live-action film rated G as well as being the studio's highest-grossing film with that rating. Dakota Fanning won a Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards. 2 years later on February 14, 2008, the studio released ''The Spiderwick Chronicles (film), The Spiderwick Chronicles'', a fantasy drama film based on the bestselling The Spiderwick Chronicles, book of the same name, starring Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Short, Nick Nolte, and Seth Rogen. This film was released in both regular and IMAX theaters and received favorable reviews and was a box office success, earning $71,195,053 in the United States and $162,839,667 outside of the United States. On July 28, 2008, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies released a coming-of-age comedy film, ''Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging'', based on two bestselling British novels by Louise Rennison, ''Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging'' and ''It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers''. The film met with positive reviews and was a box office success. It was released in theaters in the United Kingdom, earning £8,647,770 and grossed £13,835,569 worldwide. To date, it has a direct-to-DVD release in the United States and has made its U.S. premiere on Nick at Nite on March 12, 2009. It is also the first film from Nickelodeon Movies to receive a PG-13 rating. On January 16, 2009, ''Hotel for Dogs (film), Hotel for Dogs'' was released, starring Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Johnny Simmons, Kyla Pratt, Troy Gentile, with Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle. It is based on the 1971 Hotel for Dogs, novel of the same name by Lois Duncan. This film received mixed reviews from film critics, but was a box office success, earning $73,034,460 in the United States box office and grossed $117,000,198 worldwide. It is distributed by DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks. This marks the first film from Nickelodeon to be distributed outside of Paramount Pictures. However, it is still distributed under Paramount. Five months later on June 12, 2009, Paramount Pictures released Nickelodeon Movies' ''Imagine That (film), Imagine That'', a comedy-drama film starring Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Nicole Ari Parker, Martin Sheen, Marin Hinkle, and Yara Shahidi. The film received negative reviews, mainly criticizing Murphy's performance. It was also a box office failure, only earning $16,123,323 at the domestic box office and grossed only $22,985,194 worldwide.


On January 8, 2007, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies announced that they had signed M. Night Shyamalan to write, direct and produce a trilogy of live-action films based on the ''Avatar: The Last Airbender'' series, the first of which would encompass the main characters' adventures in Book One. The Last Airbender (2010 film), The film was later released in theaters in 3D film, 3D on July 1, 2010 and was universally panned by critics, fans, and even from audiences who weren't familiar with the TV series and is nowadays often considered List of films considered the worst, one of the worst movies ever made. A year later, it won five Golden Raspberry Awards, Razzies, including Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay, worst screenplay, Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director, worst director and Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, worst picture of the year. This was the studio's first feature film released in 3-D. On its opening day in the United States, ''The Last Airbender'' made $16 million, ranking fifth overall for Thursday openings. Despite negative critical reception, the film was a box office success, and grossed $131,601,062 in the United States box office, also grossed $187,340,196 in other countries, making for a total of $318,941,258 worldwide. That planned trilogy was finally scrapped in 2018, to make way for a new, unrelated, live-action series produced by Netflix. On March 4, 2011, Nickelodeon Movies released ''Rango (2011 film), Rango'', a Computer-generated imagery, CGI-animated western comedy film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant and Ned Beatty. The film was produced by Gore Verbinski's production company Blind Wink, and Graham King's GK Films. The CGI animation was created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), marking its first full-length animated feature. ILM usually does visual effects for live-action films.Moody, Annemarie
"ILM Jumps to Features with Rango"
Animation World Network, September 12, 2008
WebCitation archive
It is also the first animated film for Verbinski. During voice recording, the actors received costumes and sets to "give them the feel of the Wild West"; star Johnny Depp had 20 days in which to voice Rango and the filmmakers scheduled the supporting actors to interact with him.Vejvoda, Jim
What Exactly is Rango?"
IGN.com, June 30, 2010
WebCitation archive
/ref> Verbinski said his attempt with ''Rango'' was to do a "small" film after the large-scale ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' trilogy, but that he underestimated how painstaking and time-consuming animated filmmaking is. This film has met universal acclaim from critics and general audiences alike and was the first Nickelodeon film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, ten years on since the category was introduced when ''Jimmy Neutron'' was nominated. The success of ''Rango'' led Paramount to create its own animation studio, Paramount Animation. Nine months later, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies partnered with Columbia Pictures once again and released ''The Adventures of Tintin (film), The Adventures of Tintin'', a performance-captured animated 3D film, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson, with the voices of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and based on three from the The Adventures of Tintin, comic book series of the same name by Hergé, ''The Crab with the Golden Claws'' (1941), ''The Secret of the Unicorn'' (1943), and ''Red Rackham's Treasure'' (1944). This film was released in 3D and IMAX 3D theaters, as well normal "2D" theaters, and earned $77,591,831 in North America and $296,402,120 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $373,993,951. It also was studio's first animated film to be shown in 3D. John Williams, the composer for the film, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. This film became the first non-Pixar film to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, and is the first Nickelodeon film to do so. On February 28, 2012, a sequel to ''The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie'' titled ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'' was announced to be in production, and was scheduled to be released in 2015. Philippe Dauman, the president and CEO of the studio's parent company Viacom (2005–present), Viacom, told sources:
"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."
Dauman also once again said that the Paramount animation productions will be a new opportunity for his company as they will each cost less than $100 million, and the animation unit will only have 30 to 40 people, allowing for good financial returns and profits. Thanks to modern technology, the films still look "great" despite the lower cost, he said. He also lauded his studio team for winning an animation Oscar for ''Rango'', the studio's first fully owned CGI effort. "We're very proud of that," he said. The sequel was directed by Paul Tibbitt, written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, produced by Mary Parent, and executive-produced by the series' creator, Stephen Hillenburg. The series' cast members reprised their roles from the first film. The sequel was animated using the same animation style (traditional animation) as SpongeBob SquarePants, the TV show. In 2012, following the news of the Viacom (2005–present), Viacom buyout of the ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' franchise, it was announced that Nickelodeon would produce Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 film), a new film through Paramount Pictures with an expected release date sometime in 2012. In late May 2011, it was announced that Paramount and Nickelodeon had brought Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller (producer), Brad Fuller and Andrew Form on to produce the next film that would reboot the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in film, film series. Bay, Fuller, and Form would produce alongside Walker and Mednick. For the script, the studio originally hired Art Marcum and Matt Holloway to write the film for close to a million dollars. A year later the studio turned to writers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec to rewrite the script. In February 2012, Jonathan Liebesman was brought into negotiations to direct the film. It was released on August 8, 2014. The studio released a Halloween comedy film, ''Fun Size'', which opened on October 26, 2012, starring Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville, and Thomas Mann (actor), Thomas Mann. This film met with negative reviews, and was a box office failure. It grossed $11.4 million, and is the lowest wide-grossed film ever produced by Nickelodeon Movies. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 film), reboot of ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' opened on August 8, 2014. It was the biggest opening weekend for any movie produced by Nickelodeon Movies, grossing over $65 million in its first three days of release in the United States. It has since become Nickelodeon Movies's highest-grossing movie domestically (in North America) and worldwide, with over $191 million domestically and a total of $493.3 million worldwide. On February 6, 2015, ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water'', the second SpongeBob SquarePants (film series), film based on ''SpongeBob SquarePants'', was released. The film grossed almost $163 million in the United States and $323.4 million worldwide, making it the third-most successful film produced by the studio. On June 3, 2016, the studio released ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (film), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows''. The film was met with mixed reviews and grossed $240.6 million worldwide. Nickelodeon Movies was also involved in the film ''Monster Trucks (film), Monster Trucks'', though merely as a label partner as Paramount vacillated several times about including the Nickelodeon Movies vanity card within the film. It was released on January 13, 2017 as a critical and Box-office bomb, box-office flop. An original animated feature produced by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies in association with Ilion Animation Studios, titled ''Wonder Park'', released on March 15, 2019 with reviews being mixed and was a Box-office bomb, box office disappointment. A television series based on it, which is titled ''Adventures in Wonder Park'', is scheduled to air on Nickelodeon in the near future. On August 9, 2019, the studio released the first film based on the Nick Jr. animated series ''Dora the Explorer'', titled ''Dora and the Lost City of Gold''. Produced by Paramount Players, it is directed by James Bobin. It received positive reviews and was a box office success. Nickelodeon Movies distributed an original feature called Playing with Fire (2019 film), ''Playing with Fire'', starring John Cena, and directed by Andy Fickman. The film was released on November 8, 2019. It received negative reviews, but was a modest box office success.


A third SpongeBob SquarePants (film series), ''SpongeBob'' film, ''The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Sponge on the Run'', was released in Canadian theaters on August 14, 2020, and digitally on Netflix in other territories on November 5, 2020, followed by a release via PVOD and on Paramount+, in the United States, on March 4, 2021, following the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is directed and co-written by former writer Tim Hill (director), Tim Hill. It is the last ''SpongeBob'' film to involve series creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died on November 26, 2018 from ALS.


In September 2020, Ramsey Naito, who was formerly the Nickelodeon Group's EVP of animation production and development, will oversee the animation material in all media and channels, including visual, streaming, TV videos, theatrical motion pictures and SVOD, as the new animation president.

Upcoming projects

On May 19, 2019, it was announced that a PAW Patrol: The Movie, film based on the popular Nick Jr. series ''PAW Patrol'' was in development, with Cal Brunker as director. The film is scheduled for an August 20, 2021 release. Nickelodeon Movies is also teaming up with Point Grey Pictures to make a CG-animated film reboot of ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in film#Untitled CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' which is currently in development with Jeff Rowe directing. The film is currently projected for a 2023 release.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (theatrical release in 2023) – Nickelodeon and award-winning Point Grey Pictures’ (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver) are in production on an all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theatrical motion picture, distributed by Paramount Pictures.


Cancelled or inactive projects

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Kids' Choice Awards

Saturn Awards


External links

Nickelodeon Movies website

* {{Viacom Nickelodeon Movies, Film production companies of the United States Nickelodeon-related production companies Companies based in Los Angeles Nickelodeon, Movies Paramount Pictures American companies established in 1995 Mass media companies established in 1995 1995 establishments in California