Paramount Pulls 'The Lovebirds' and 'Blue Story' Because of Coronavirus

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The move comes after the studio delayed 'A Quiet Place Part II' and Universal pushed 'F9.'

Hours after making the call to move A Quiet Place Part II off the schedule, Paramount is pulling two more films because of the coronavirus pandemic: The Lovebirds and Blue Story.

The move follows a frenzied early morning in Hollywood that also saw Universal tentpole F9 move to 2021. Blue Story, previously scheduled for March 20, was slated for a limited release (A Quiet Place Part II was set to bow on the same day). The film is a low-budget feature adaptation of Rapman's YouTube series about two young friends who become rivals in a street war. Lovebirds, which stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, was scheduled to open April 3. The film, which was produced by MRC, was slotted for April as counterprogramming to the kickoff of the summer tentpole corridor. (MRC and The Hollywood Reporter share a parent company, Valence Media.

Neither film has been scheduled yet for a future date.

While theaters remain open in the U.S., there's a growing expectation that some cinemas could go dark in areas where cases of COVID-19 are spiking, or where business has slowed. And the international landscape is even more dire from an exhibition standpoint, where 70,000 theaters in China have shuttered. The entire nation of Italy is on lockdown, and there are widespread cinema closures in South Korea and France.

Studios made their decisions amid an escalating global crisis that has seen everything from the NBA canceling the remainder of its season to the closures of the House and Senate within the past 24 hours.