As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to afflict the United States and the entire world, Paramount is expressing caution and delaying two of its major blockbusters, according to Deadline. Top Gun: Maverick will now open May 27th, 2022, taking the Memorial Day Weekend slot previously reserved for Mission: Impossible 7, which will now debut on September 30th, 2022. This news cements Paramount’s belief that these films will follow in the footsteps of their franchise predecessors and bring in solid box office returns, provided audiences feel safe going to the movies.
The original Top Gun was released thirty-five years ago and grossed $357 million worldwide. The Mission: Impossible film franchise has been going strong since the first film brought in $458 million in 1996, and, after the sixth film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout made $792 million in 2018, the overall franchise total stands at a whopping $3.57 billion. It makes sense that Paramount would want to hold out for fuller auditoriums given the clear delivery power of these Tom Cruise starrers.
Another less high-profile film being issued a delay is Jackass Forever, now slated for Feb 4th, 2022 instead of October 22nd, 2021. The idea is that Paramount wants to give all of its films an equal shot at a box office run. Other studios may continue to follow suit as data comes in that suggests that, even when theaters are open, families may not yet be comfortable going back to theaters. Statistics show a decline in eagerness of those polled to rush back to the movies, and the absence of certain countries where a full shutdown or lockdown is in effect, like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, means that the overall global success of a film in this climate simply can’t be guaranteed.