Skip to Content
MarketWatch

Paramount delays 'Top Gun: Maverick' until May 2022 due to coronavirus concerns

By Mike Murphy

'Mission: Impossible 7' will also be pushed back

Your Tom Cruise fix is going to have to wait a bit longer.

Paramount Pictures on Wednesday moved back the release dates for Cruise's next two films yet again, due to concerns that COVID-19 will continue to hurt the movie-theater business. "Top Gun: Maverick," which was expected to premiere Nov. 19, was pushed back to May 27, 2022 -- next Memorial Day weekend -- while "Mission: Impossible 7" was moved from that date to Sept. 30, 2022.

Paramount, which is owned by ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC), also delayed "Jackass Forever," from Oct. 22 to Feb. 4, 2022.

The moves blew up hopes that the movie industry would return to a sense of normalcy anytime soon. A number of big-name movies have been delayed -- often multiple times -- or moved to streaming services due to the pandemic's effect on movie theaters. While most theaters in the U.S. are open again, crowds have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, and the recent delta surge seems to be discouraging people from going to the movies.

Big-name movies that have opened exclusively in theaters have seen mostly disappointing box-office earnings, and there have been complaints that movies that premiered on streaming services -- or streamed the same day they hit theaters -- have made significantly less money than they would have in pre-pandemic times. Actress Scarlett Johansson sued Disney earlier this summer, claiming her salary for Marvel's "Black Widow" was unfairly less because the movie streamed on Disney+ the same day it debuted in theaters.

The "Top Gun" sequel had originally been scheduled for a summer 2019 release, but was delayed a year for production reasons. But then the pandemic hit, and its release was pushed back to December 2020, then July 2021, then November 2021.

A number of other blockbuster movies appear to be on track for a fall release -- as of now, at least. Sony (6758.TO) recently pushed back the release of the supervillain sequel "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15; MGM's latest James Bond installment, "No Time to Die," is scheduled for an Oct. 8 release; Disney's (DIS) "Eternals" is scheduled for Nov. 5; and Sony on Wednesday moved "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" back a week to Nov. 19, which "Top Gun" had vacated. AT&T's (T) Warner Bros. is also set to release "Dune" on Oct. 22, but that will simultaneously stream on HBO Max.

-Mike Murphy

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-02-21 0820ET

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.