Sony, Paramount Join Latest Movie Delay Bandwagon

Next year (2021) is shaping up to be a busy one for Hollywood. Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures have joined Disney and Warner Bros. in further delaying high-profile 2020 theatrical releases until 2021 due to ongoing surges in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country.

To date, the United States leads the world with more than 4 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Paramount announced that another Tom Cruise starrer, Top Gun: Maverick, sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, has been delayed until July 2, 2021 from its previously delayed Dec. 23, 2020 debut. The studio previously pushed back Mission: Impossible 7 to Nov. 19, 2021 from its original July 21, 2021 date. Mission: Impossible 8 had been scheduled for Aug. 5, 2022. It now has a tentative Nov. 4, 2022, release appointment.

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Sci-fi franchise A Quiet Place saw sequel Part II delayed again to next April from the upcoming Labor Day weekend. The John Krasinski/Emily Blunt starrer had been originally slated for March 8 — just as the COVID-19 pandemic gained traction globally.

Paramount, which earlier this month inked catalog movie license deals with NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service for 2021, 2022 and 2023, also pushed back screen debuts for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Jackass, Under the Boardwalk and The Tiger’s Apprentice.

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Sony Pictures is delaying its latest “Spider-Man” sequel to Dec. 17, 2021, from Nov. 5, 2021. The third installment starring Tom Holland as the webbed crusader had originally been slated for July 16, 2021. Separately, Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is now scheduled for Oct. 7, 2022, from April 2022.

Paramount Rolls Out Catalog Promotion, Aimed at Home Audiences, for ‘Top Gun’, Other Cruise Films

Paramount Pictures April 28 announced that the 1986 Tom Cruise classic Top Gun will become available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Digital on May 13 — which fans branded as “Top Gun Day” more than a decade ago — with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc release following on May 19.

The film, directed by Tony Scott, was a huge box office hit, earning $356 million — the equivalent of $840.2 million in today’s dollars. The U.S. Library of Congress in 2015 selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

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A sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is scheduled for theatrical release on December 23, 2020. The release date was pushed back from June 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the mid-March closure of movie theaters.

Top Gun has been newly remastered for its home release in 4K Ultra HD. Home releases also will include a brand-new featurette that explores the film’s legacy and continued popularity through new interviews with Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of Top Gun: Maverick, including John Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell and more.

The home release also includes a retrospective segment from 2016 looking back at 30 years of Top Gun. Additional previously released bonus content on the disc includes commentary by Bruckheimer, director Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps Jr. and naval experts; “Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun”; a look inside the real Top Gun; original theatrical promotional material; music videos; and more.

Paramount is also debuting on 4K Ultra HD two other Tom Cruise films on May 13 (digital) and May 19 (disc): Days of Thunder (1990) and War of the Worlds (2005).

Days of Thunder reteams Cruise with director Scott and producer Bruckheimer. Known for its spectacular racing action, the movie further cemented Cruise’s star status.  The new 4K Ultra HD release includes a brand-new featurette looking back on the production with Bruckheimer.

The Steven Spielberg-helmed War of the Worlds is a retelling of the H.G. Wells classic, which shot into notoriety in 1938 when a radio drama panicked listeners who thought it was real.

The film earned more than $600 million worldwide, the equivalent of nearly $800 million in today’s dollars.

The new 4K UHD/Blu-ray Combo Pack includes access to a digital copy of the film, along with over an hour of previously released bonus content, including multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes, production diaries, a look at the characters, and more.