For Hollywood, winter is the new summer. Top Gun: Maverick is the latest blockbuster to bail out of a warm-weather release date over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Via Variety, the Tom Cruise vehicle now plans to land in theaters on December 23rd, 2020.
The sequel to 1986’s Top Gun had initially been scheduled for June 24th. Even if cinemas are open in two months — and that’s a big if — studios are reportedly concerned that traumatized audiences may not feel ready to rejoin crowds. Top Gun: Maverick comes with a $150 million price tag, and the film needs to pack theaters to make back that investment. The hope is that postponing until December makes box office success more likely.
But a holiday release will require producers to hit the reset button on what was shaping up to be a massive advertising campaign. The flick’s Super Bowl commercial, which reportedly cost $5.6 million, won’t be remembered by many people in seven months. By then, the full-length trailer will be more than a year old. Execs will have to pay for a whole new round of advertisements. The financial hits keep coming, which is one of the reasons the global film industry is projected to lose $20 billion this year.
This is the second Tom Cruise project impacted by COVID-19. Mission Impossible 7 had been filming in Italy when the novel coronavirus exploded, and so was one of the first movies forced to suspend production. An updated list of events postponed and cancelled due to the pandemic can be found here.