For Paramount Pictures, Summer 2021 is still the danger zone — and Top Gun: Maverick just flew out of it.
As part of a comprehensive shift of the studio’s 2021 slate and beyond, Paramount Pictures has gone against recent trends of embracing this summer’s promising box office. Still, they haven’t entirely abandoned it, either.
The most notable titles affected (and delayed) are the long-awaited Top Gun sequel and, along with it, the next two chapters in the other major franchise from Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible 7 & 8. Now, Top Gun: Maverick will open in mid-November 2021 rather than early July, and M:I-7 will bump from November 2021 to May 2022.
Despite declining COVID cases, which has led to optimism that Summer 2021 could see a big box office boom (one possibly teased by the strong recent showing of Godzilla vs. Kong), Paramount has opted to stick to a more cautious approach.
Even so, Paramount will still dip some of its movies into this summer’s waning-pandemic waters. Not only is A Quiet Place Part II still locked in for May 28, but Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins has actually been moved up from October 22 to July 23.
The reasoning behind these musical chairs is clear (though not explicitly stated): Paramount would rather ease back into the still-uncertain post-pandemic box office with its mid-major titles, ones that aren’t quite at the mega-budget level of its two most prized (and expensive) tentpoles.
It’s a savvy move, if also a frustrating one (especially for those, like me, who were really looking forward to a Top Gun sequel over the 4th of July holiday weekend).
It will also help the studio to test (and possibly modify) their current plan to add all theatrical releases to their streamer Paramount Plus just 45 days after a movie’s multiplex debut.
Here’s the full list schedule changes:
- Top Gun: Maverick, delayed from July 2, 2021 to November 19, 2021
- Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, bumped earlier to July 23, 2021 from October 22
- Jackass 4, delayed from September 3, 2021 to October 22
- Mission: Impossible 7, delayed from November 19, 2021 to May 27, 2022 (Memorial Day weekend)
- Mission: Impossible 8, delayed from November 4, 2022 to July 7, 2023
- Untitled Bee Gees Movie, announced for November 4, 2022
- Dungeons & Dragons, delayed from May 27, 2022 to March 3, 2023
- Untitled Star Trek Movie, announced for June 9, 2023
- The Shrinking of Treehorn, announced for November 10, 2023
- Untitled Ryan Reynolds / John Krasinski Film, announced for November 17, 2023
Other Paramount features sticking to their current 2021 release dates: Paw Patrol (August 20), Infinite (September 24), and Clifford the Big Red Dog (November 5).