Entertainment Hollywood 21 Mar 2020 "The Lovebirds& ...

"The Lovebirds" will move to Netflix as theatres shutdown amid coronavirus

AFP
Published Mar 21, 2020, 10:21 am IST
Updated Mar 21, 2020, 10:21 am IST
Many movie releases have been stalled due to the uncertainity in theatres due to the shutdown amid coronavirus outbreak
Representational image (Twitter)
 Representational image (Twitter)

With movie theaters closing down around the world due to coronavirus, Paramount's "The Lovebirds" will skip the big screen and go straight to Netflix, in a landmark move for Hollywood.

The decision adds to uncertainty surrounding the movie theater industry, which typically relies on a "theatrical window" before major films are made available for viewing at home.

 

"The Lovebirds" marks the first time a major Hollywood studio has pulled a film from theaters and sent it to Netflix, although a release date has not yet been set.

The romantic comedy, starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, sees a couple become accidentally embroiled in a murder mystery.

Universal had previously announced it would make upcoming titles such as "Trolls World Tour" available direct to on-demand streaming at the same time as theaters.

Disney, with "Frozen 2," had brought forward home release dates for movies already in theaters, via its Disney+ streaming platform.

But the majority of big studio releases  including "Mulan," "Black Widow" and the latest "Fast and Furious" sequel  have simply been postponed.

In a recent statement, the National Association of Theatre Owners rejected as "speculation in the media" that the coronavirus closures could mean more blockbusters heading straight to streaming.

"To avoid catastrophic losses to the studios, these titles must have the fullest possible theatrical release around the world," it said.

"While one or two releases may forgo theatrical release, it is our understanding... that the vast majority of deferred releases will be rescheduled for theatrical release as life returns to normal."

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