Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit theaters -- and only theaters -- on April 8. It began streaming on Paramount Plus on Monday night, just under seven weeks later.
The pandemic upended how new movies got released in 2020 and 2021, triggering an unprecedented wave of theatrical films hitting cinemas and streaming services at the same time. This year, however, streaming release dates are all over the map.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is an example of one film that didn't get an official confirmation of its streaming date until -- surprise! -- it showed up.
Here's everything to know.
Where is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 streaming?
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is streaming first on . The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as Paramount Plus.
Is Sonic 2 'free' to stream?
Paramount Plus isn't charging extra fees to watch the movie on its service. And even though Paramount Plus has two different tiers, it isn't "paywalling" the movie behind the higher-priced membership level. Still, Paramount Plus does require a paid subscription, so nothing on the service is literally free -- unless you watch the movie while you're signed up on a free trial. Paramount Plus offers a 7-day free trial standard for all new members.
Without any advance notice, Sonic 2 started streaming late Monday night.
For Sonic 2 and movies like it, Paramount guarantees them at least 45 days exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus. In this case, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 followed a 45-day timeline exactly, becoming available to stream at midnight ET on the 46th day after its theatrical release.
This time, Paramount didn't appear to give any official confirmation when the film would be available to stream before it actually happened. Another Paramount movie -- The Lost City, which hit theaters in March and became available to stream in May -- followed the same 45-day timeframe. But in the case of The Lost City, the company issued a press release the day before it hit Paramount Plus.
And Paramount doesn't always switch a film over to streaming like clockwork. Like The Lost City, Jackass Forever, came out in theaters in February and landed on Paramount Plus almost exactly 45 days later. But Scream, which hit theaters in January, took roughly a week longer than that.