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Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7 delayed again due to delta variant

Released for two big Tom Cruise films are moved, with the Top Gun sequel taking Memorial Day weekend 2022.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to come out around Thanksgiving, but has been moved to Memorial Day 2022.

Paramount Pictures

This year was looking promising for movie fans, but some major titles won't be released as planned. Two Tom Cruise films, Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7, have been moved from 2021 to 2022, with one surrendering its big release weekend to the other. The rise in coronavirus cases due to the delta variant, according to The New York Times, caused Paramount to hold off on the films, which in normal times would likely draw huge crowds to in-person showings.

Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to 1986's Top Gun, has been moved to May 27, 2022 -- that is, Memorial Day weekend. It had been scheduled for a pre-Thanksgiving November release. Mission: Impossible 7 was supposed to be Paramount's big Memorial Day weekend release, but has been bumped to Sept. 30, 2022, so the two Cruise films aren't competing.

The original Top Gun was also a May release, back in 1986, earning more than $350 million against a production budget of just $15 million. 

The Mission: Impossible franchise, inspired by the 1960s TV series, began in 1996, and has grossed over $3.5 billion worldwide.

Another big-name picture is making a much-smaller date move. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the fourth film in that franchise, is moving one week, to Nov. 19, 2021, from Nov. 11.

And Jackass Forever, a return of Johnny Knoxville's painful pranks, has moved from Oct. 22, 2021, to Feb. 4, 2022.

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