Paramount Delays ' The Lovebirds' And 'Blue Story' Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Soon after it announced the worldwide delay of A Quiet Place Part II, Paramount Studios is shuffling its entire film release schedule amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) has affected two more Paramount releases, with the studio pulling the release of the upcoming films The Lovebirds and Blue Story. No new release date has been set for either film yet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is pulling the release of two more films amid coronavirus concerns. The Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae comedy The Lovebirds, originally slated to open April 3, has been pushed back, as has the teen gang drama Blue Story, originally sceduled for March 20. Neither film has been scheduled for a new release date yet.

The Lovebirds, which stars Nanjiani and Rae as a couple framed for murder, was set in April as comedy counterprogramming to the summer tentpole slate. Meanwhile, Blue Story, which was slated for limited release on the same weekend of A Quiet Place Part II, is a low-budget feature adaptation of Rapman's YouTube series about two young friends who become rivals in a street war. As mid- to low-budget films with less of a pull than big IPs like A Quiet Place, they would be due to suffer financially from reluctant audiences concerned about coronavirus.

Theaters remain open in the U.S., but it seems more likely that some theaters could go dark. Internationally, theaters across China and Italy have shuttered, while there are widespread closures in South Korea and France.

The delays comes hours after Paramount announced that it was delaying the global release of A Quiet Place Part II, whose delay came piecemeal after initial reports of the film getting pulled from international release. It comes mere minutes after Universal pushed its tentpole blockbuster F9 by a year, delaying the action film to 2021. Major delays for film releases were expected after MGM kicked off the pushbacks with No Time to Die, followed by Sony's Peter Rabbit 2 and STXfilms' My Spy. But the sudden barrage of film delays follows immediately after a frantic 24 hours which saw the White House announce a travel ban in Europe, the House and Senate closed for session, and the NBA suspend its current season.