We understand that this has been in the works for a while, but the Media Rights Capital/Paramount comedy The Lovebirds is heading over to Netflix.
The movie was originally expected to open April 3 theatrically, but like several other titles, was pulled from the release schedule due to the exhibition coronavirus shutdown. A streaming date for the title will be announced soon. I hear the deal is being papered at the moment. Details in regards to foreign are forthcoming, but I believe this was a global deal.
The film, directed by Michael Showalter, stars Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as a couple who experience a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery.
The movie was originally set to make its world premiere at SXSW, and in the final moments, before the actual Austin, TX festival cancelled on March 6, the movie’s cast and director decided not to attend the festival for safety reasons.
Not a real shocker here given the fate of a number of other theatrical releases now heading into the home, i.e. Sonic the Hedgehog, The Invisible Man, Onward, I Still Believe, Bloodshot, The Hunt, Emma, Birds of Prey and The Way Back.
Paramount has done deals with Netflix before in the past. Bad Robot’s The Cloverfield Paradox skipped a theatrical release and went straight to Netflix with surprise debut following The Super Bowl in 2018. Netflix had foreign, while Paramount handled domestic on the Natalie Portman sci-fi movie Annihilation. Also, Netflix had foreign on New Line’s Rebel Wilson movie Isn’t It Romantic, while Warners gave that a theatrical release.
Some in town will aim to make a lot of hay about the window being broken, but theaters and studios have no choice right now when it comes to monetizing products out there. There shouldn’t be any fear: I hear that many studios still recognize the window system as being the most potent revenue-making stream for a movie, especially expensive event titles, however, a straight-to-home situation on a thrifty comedy like Love Birds is less of a financial bust, and likely the quickest means to make money. For intents and purposes, despite Universal rubbing exhibition the wrong way with their home release of Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, that’s largely experiment on NBCUni’s behalf.