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Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise flies in formation

The COVID-19 pandemic has, without question, shaken up the entire movie industry; partially because of the closure of all major movie theater chains. With social distancing and various states of lockdown putting the release schedule on a very reduced path to where it was once headed, a lot of films have had to gradually announce a postponement into the movie market of 2020. The most recent films to do this are a slew of releases that Paramount Pictures was planning throughout the year.

Most notable in the news announced by Paramount Pictures today is the fact that things are about to get a little chillier for Tom Cruise. Originally expected to come out this June, Top Gun: Maverick has now officially pushed its release date back to a more holiday-friendly outing. December 23rd is now the new date for the return of Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Also of note is the fact that A Quiet Place Part II now has a new Labor Day friendly release date after being pushed back in March, with September 4th acting as the new slot for director John Krasinski’s horror-thriller blockbuster to take off from. Rounding out the anticipated delays for Paramount related content is The Spongbob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which has now hedged its bets on a July 31st release date, moving out of the Memorial Day friendly release date of May 22nd.

Even more surprising though is the fact that the new Chris Pratt sci-fi blockbuster, The Tomorrow War, has been removed from the 2020 calendar altogether -- despite production wrapping last month. Though presumably, between the post-production work needed on the footage shot, and Top Gun: Maverick’s cushy new release date, the original plan to release the movie on Christmas Day needed to change. Sorry Star Lord, Maverick has priority airspace in these parts.

These announcements come just days after Sony had announced almost its entire release portfolio was moving to 2021, leaving films like Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Morbius to take more atypical release dates next March. Though there’s still some studios bullish about their prospects this summer, as Warner Bros still hasn’t announced a postponement for director Christopher Nolan’s new film, Tenet.

With industry leaders, such as AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron, hoping that theaters will still be able to open for part of the summer movie season, there’s a cautious optimism in the air for those who are looking to start recovering business losses from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that everything is up in the air until the moviegoing public feels safe enough to enjoy a night out at the movies. So even these recently announced dates could change. For now though, you’ll be able to see Paramount’s release slate come back to live on July 31st, with The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run leading the charge that will see Top Gun: Maverick taking flight on December 23rd.

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