An unexpected outcome of the coronavirus pandemic has been the influx of films available to buy early through on-demand services – and now Netflix have gotten in on the act.
The Lovebirds, featuring The Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani, has been picked up by Netflix after being pulled from its scheduled cinema release date of 3rd April.
This marks the first film to be pulled from theatres altogether and placed on a streaming service instead, as opposed to previous early digital releases which received a brief theatrical run.
The Lovebirds follows a couple – played by Nanjiani and Little actress Issa Rae – who are on the verge of breaking up when they get entangled in a murder mystery, and must clear their name together through several comedic circumstances.
Netflix is yet to announce when the romantic comedy will arrive, though the original release date of 3rd April is theoretically possible.
The Lovebirds is far from the first film to lose their cinema release date, however – as cinemas around the world close down, many of the year’s biggest movies have been delayed to later this year or postponed indefinitely.
In response, several studios have released films digitally earlier than planned – Frozen 2 arrived on Disney Plus ahead of schedule in the US, and Knives Out is now available to purchase online.
The move comes as studios attempt to entertain the millions of people who have been told to stay at home, and are only allowed to leave for essential reasons until the coronavirus outbreak is under control.
This has led to streaming services such as Netflix reducing streaming quality to ease the pressure on internet service providers.