Paramount has delayed the rest of its 2021 film lineup, shifting Top Gun: Maverick's Thanksgiving weekend release date to May 27, 2022, almost three years after its first announcement. Jackass Forever will be released on February 4, 2022 instead of the October 22nd 2021 release, as per Deadline.
Mission: Impossible 7 will now be released on September 30, 2022, in part due to Top Gun: Maverick retaking its May 2022 slot.
Concerns over the rise in COVID-19-related cases are the reason for the delays. Deadline reports that Paramount would prefer to keep the potential billion-dollar franchises starting in 2022, such as Top Gun 2, which has seen comparatively poor pandemic box office results, than risking releasing them. Paramount has decided to move the films to Paramount Plus because there is too much at stake.
In the hope of better 2022 results, major Hollywood movies will be skipping 2021 releases.
This news comes after Paramount previously moved Clifford the Big Red Dog's live-action movie from its September 17th release date to avoid COVID-19 delays. The studio has not yet announced a new date.
Paramount's decision is not final, but there are still major films that will be hitting theaters in the next few months. Disney still has Shang-Chi, the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals set to bring the MCU back into theatrical exclusivity on September 3. Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be released on October 18th, although there are rumors that Sony may delay it. Ghostbuster: Afterlife is scheduled for November 19th (as Sony moves in order to take the Top Guns spot), and Spider-Man : No Way Home for December. The long-awaited James Bond film No Time To Die is also on the horizon. This was the first film to be affected by COVID-19 delays. It will finally be released in theaters across the US on October 8.
Warner Bros. has two of its largest tent poles remaining on the 2021 calendar: Dune (October 22nd) or The Matrix Resurrections, December 22nd. These movies, unlike the ones mentioned, won't be theatrical exclusives. They will also be available on HBO Max, thanks to WarnerMedia's 2021 release strategy.