By now, people who keep an eye out on the movie scene know the rather formulaic news. Those films supposed to release in 2020 that were pushed back to about early to mid-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic? The move was reasonable because surely by that time COVID vaccines would have been given out, right? Well this year the pandemic lingers on despite widespread vaccination, so some already-delayed blockbusters have either pulled back some more or just went over to streaming. Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” sequel with Tom Cruise has done likewise, but now the fans are not so worried.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that the recent new premiere move of “Top Gun: Maverick” by Paramount Pictures from July 4 of this year to November, is no longer causing the same panic that gripped the theater and cinema industry the way it did back in 2020. Yes, it is still another blockbuster that has “evacuated” from the summer 2021 season, but there are other films looking for their own release slots this year, and when one date is vacated, another movie takes its place. Universal Pictures, for example, is now putting dystopian-horror sequel “The Forever Purge” on July 2, or two days earlier than the previous “Maverick” release date.
Paramount does have a good reason for the move. The July 4 weekend was sandwiched between two other blockbuster releases carried over from last year: “Fast and Furious 9” (another Universal bet) has not budged from its June 25 date. Marvel Studios’ MCU Phase 4 feature-length opening salvo “Black Widow” is also pegged at July 9 (having moved from May). There would have been less viewers to go around then, especially if theaters remain either under limited seating capacity or closed, depending on their location.
“Maverick” lead star Tom Cruise is not one to sit idly either. Even with pandemic advisories abound, he still plans on doing a world tour to promote the distant sequel to “Top Gun” that has become one of his most iconic film roles. It is for that reason that the planned back-to-back shooting schedule for “Mission Impossible 7” and “8” already fell through. The problem for his tour is that Europe is once again under hard lockdown, and while Asia is getting back on its feet (especially China), Japan is still wary of visitors, especially as the Japanese-audience-only Summer Olympics in Tokyo draws ever nearer.
There are other reasons for US movie audiences to be optimistic. The National Research Group has a recent survey result indicating that 60% of American adults are okay with going to the movies again, up from 52% last March. It is not much, but every bit of positive news helps.
Image courtesy of CinemaBlend