Paramount has postponed the release dates of its upcoming movies, including Tom Cruise's 'Top Gun: Maverick' and 'Mission: Impossible 7', due to Covid concerns.
Cruise's 'Top Gun: Maverick' is departing its November 19 date and will now release on May 27, 2022. Whereas, his 'Mission: Impossible 7' set for May 27, 2022, also gets delayed and will now open September 30, 2022.
The studio has also pushed back 'Jackass Forever', which moves to February 4, 2022, from the earlier date of October 22, 2021.
The moves come as concerns over the Delta variant continue to hamper theater attendance and make releasing tentpoles into cinemas a risky proposition for studios. Paramount, like other studios, regularly consults with epidemiologists on decisions such as this, and the studio is hopeful the box office will recover in 2022 when these films are now set to open, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Shortly after Paramount announced 'Top Gun: Maverick' was exiting November 19, Sony pushed 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' to that date, as it previously was set for November 11.
'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returns to direct the seventh and eighth installments of the franchise. Joseph Kosinski helms 'Top Gun: Maverick', which last week unspooled off its first 13 minutes at CinemaCon, the convention for theater owners where speculation as to when the box office would return to pre-Covid levels was a hot topic.
While studios such as Warner Bros and Disney have experimented with putting tentpoles on streaming services and in theaters day-and-date, Paramount has kept many of its big titles, such as 'A Quiet Place II', for theatrical release only.
Paramount did sell off 'The Tomorrow War' to Amazon and put Mark Wahlberg's 'Infinite' on Paramount+ exclusively, but it has been expected that 'Top Gun: Maverick' and 'Mission: Impossible 7' remain theatrical only, as Cruise is a strong proponent of the theatrical experience and because of the hefty budgets of these movies.
"That doesn't mean that decision is the right decision for every film," said Paramount distribution exec Chris Aronson at CinemaCon of its 'A Quiet Place II' gamble, but "the underlying principle couldn't be more clear: The theatrical experience is irreplaceable," according to The Hollywood Reporter.