LOS ANGELES • With cineplexes closing down around the world due to the coronavirus, Paramount's The Lovebirds will skip the big screen and go straight to Netflix.
The landmark decision adds to uncertainty surrounding the movie theatre industry, which 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 theatres 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 previously announced it would make upcoming titles such as Trolls World Tour available direct to on-demand streaming at the same time as theatres.
Disney, with Frozen 2 (2019), had brought forward home release dates for movies already in theatres, 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 Read More – Source