Tom Cruise's TOP GUN: MAVERICK & Christopher Nolan's TENET Unlikely To Hit Theaters As Scheduled

Tom Cruise's TOP GUN: MAVERICK & Christopher Nolan's TENET Unlikely To Hit Theaters As Scheduled

While both Top Gun: Maverick and Tenet are currently still on the theatrical release schedule, it's starting to look increasingly unlikely that either movie will make it to the big screen this summer.

With several major titles, including Marvel's Black Widow, Universal's Fast & Furious 9, Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman 1984, Universal's Minions: The Rise of Gru, Sony's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Sony/Marvel's Morbius, all shifting out of their summer release dates, the 2020 summer movie season has been essentially hanging on by a thread, anchored by Paramount's Top Gun: Maverick and Warner Bros.' Tenet.

However, based on current events and the unresolved nature of the coronavirus pandemic, Variety strongly believes those two high profile action blockbusters led by Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible) and Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), along with Disney's Jungle Cruise, will inevitably be forced to push heir release dates back to later in the year or even into 2021, effectively canceling the summer blockbuster season.

Their report also says Warner Bros. may have been a tad too optimistic when moving Wonder Woman 1984 to August, and will likely be forced to push the film back even further within the next few weeks/months unless a miracle coronavirus cure is discovered in the interim, which, unfortunately at this time, seems highly improbable. 

As for whether some of these films could skip a traditional theatrical release and head straight to digital and on demand, that's almost definitely not going to happen. Each of the aforementioned films carry budgets well north of $100 million (not including marketing and distribution costs) and could potentially lose hundreds of millions of dollars forgoing a theatrical release. 

There is a possibility that smaller films with budgets in the range of Universal's The Invisible Man ($7M budget) and STX's The Gentlemen ($22M budget) could skip theaters and head to digital instead. Film analysts do believe many of the recent mid-budget films to debut early on digital did perform well enough to justify such a move for studios as they work not to lose money while theaters remain shut down across the globe.

The worldwide theater shut down remains the biggest reason behind delaying multiple films into next year rather than into late 2020, as even if the United States manages to flatten the curve and potentially recover as a country by June/July, movie studios won't be so keen on opening films if the vast majority of theaters remain closed around the world, including in Asia and Europe, where stars like Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Scarlett Johansson, amongst others, are huge box office draws. 

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