At CinemaCon in Las Vegas during the last week of August, movie studios told the annual gathering of theater owners how excited they were for films to return to the big screen.
Then just days later, as the pandemic continued to prevent crowds from going to the movies, Paramount decided to push the release dates of three upcoming films. “Top Gun: Maverick” is moving from November 19, 2021 to May 27, 2022. “Mission: Impossible 7” is going from May 27, 2022 to September 30, 2022. And “Jackass Forever” is shifting to October 22, 2021 to Feburary 4, 2022.
In the case of the “Top Gun” sequel, it will be four years between when the movie starting filming and when it'll be released.
There is a huge cost involved with delaying these movies, but Paramount is depending on money from theatrical releases and doesn’t want to put these movies on streaming.
Another factor: Tom Cruise, who stars in two of the films, is a huge advocate for theatrical releases and probably wouldn’t allow the movies to go to a streaming service.
After “Top Gun: Maverick” moved off of its Thanksgiving weekend release day, Sony decided to push the release of “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” by one week, into the old “Top Gun” slot. Sony is in an especially tough situation because the studio doesn’t have its own streaming service. It has sold movies to other outlets, including Amazon and Apple, in the past. But with the “Ghostbusters” franchise, they are going ahead with a theatrical release, even though there’s no indication that the pandemic will be under control by November.