Paramount has pushed several of its high-profile projects to next year, with Top Gun Maverick and Mission Impossible 7 moving to later dates in 2022. According to Deadline, "Paramount consulted with experts and their own global team, they decided to move the movies given the current conditions of COVID and its Delta variant around the world."
There's no escaping the fact that all movies are having a challenging time at the box office; it hasn't helped that there has been little in the way of consistency from movie studios as to how they have released new films. Some have had a hybrid launch with streaming and theatrical simultaneously; others like Free Guy, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place 2, and Marvel's Shang-Chi have had exclusive theatrical only releases before their expediated availability on demand.
This model has worked for some; Fast & Furious 9 generated a pandemic best of more than $700 million worldwide. However, that wasn't the case for all high-profile releases, with Black Widow's hybrid launch in cinemas and Disney+ Premier Access led to a lukewarm box office. It remains unclear how much in total Disney made for Premier Access; the last reported figure was around $100 million; even when added to the $371 million global box office, it's a far cry from a Marvel-sized hit.
Top Gun and Mission Impossible are key releases for Paramount; the latter has had one heck of a time getting completed after multiple pauses in production due to crew/cast members testing positive. Unlike Disney, Paramount doesn't have an abundance of franchises that can tempt audiences back to cinemas; the positive response to the recently screened footage of both films at CineCon was more than enough to convince Paramount that delaying was the best option.
Paramount isn't just postponing Tom Cruise movies; Jackass Forever won't be in cinemas this year. Instead, the painful antics of the Jackass gang will now arrive on February 4, with Top Gun: Maverick landing on May 27 and Mission: Impossible 7 set for September 30, 2022.