Tom Cruise has finally found a movie problem he can’t solve by hanging off the side of a plane or jumping out of a plane, or hanging off a helicopter, or doing other impossibly dangerous things in mid-air.

It seems that the Covid pandemic has worsened to the point that Paramount is wary about the potential grosses of both of Cruise’s big upcoming blockbusters. And so they have been delayed yet again. Top Gun: Maverick (originally scheduled for release on June 26, 2020) and Mission: Impossible 7 (original release date: July 23, 2021) have both been pushed back by Paramount. They will now come out on May 27, 2022 and September 30, 2022, respectively.

Moving these movies in an environment where box office is shaky and people are still wary of returning to theaters makes sense; these are gigantic tentpoles that will need gigantic audiences if they have any hope of turning a profit. But Paramount has also moved their other fall film, Jackass Forever, to February of 2022. And one would think that film would do okay in theaters right now, even in this environment, thanks to audience of young men.

According to Deadline, that move came because “Paramount didn’t want to cherry pick which movies will open in the current climate. In their view, all their filmmakers and stars deserve the same consideration and positioning in a future potential robust box office marketplace.” As a result, Paramount has no more movies for the rest of 2021. Their next scheduled project is the Scream sequel/reboot, that’s expected on January 14, 2022.

Or maybe that should be in air quotes; “expected.” These days, one can never expect much as far as theatrical movies is concerned.

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