Maverick’s Two Year Covid Delay Could Have Been Ten To Ensure A Theatrical Release
Top Gun: Maverick was delayed three years from its initial release date, but Tom Cruise would have delayed it longer in order to get a theatrical run.
Tom Cruise has always been used to putting big action set-pieces on the big screen, and that is why he has no apologies to make about the delays Top Gun: Maverick faced during the Covid pandemic. While many movies were settling for “Day and Date” streaming options to get movies out in front of audiences somehow, some movies refused to jump onto the streaming boom to secure a full theatrical release. One of those movies was Top Gun: Maverick, originally meant to be released in 2019. However, the film struck some production delays, which initially saw the release moved to 2020 until the pandemic saw theaters around the world shut down.
In the end, no one sees the delay as anything other than a win for the movie considering the film became the biggest movie of 2022 and one of the highest-grossing of all time. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Cruise is happy to stand by the decision to delay the release and even says he would have waited much longer to ensure Top Gun: Maverick was given a deserved theatrical release. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Cruise explained:
“People have been asking for the movie for 34 years, what’s a couple more years? I would have held out for 10 years. Look, the film is made for the big screen, I have friends all through my actors’ friends and studios in theatrical, I made it for theatrical, that’s what I did. We all did, we all made it for theatrical, it wasn’t just me, the whole crew.”
Steven Spielberg Claims Top Gun: Maverick Saved the Movie Industry
While it may be a big claim, Steven Spielberg’s comments to Tom Cruise at the Oscar nominees luncheon that his movie “saved Hollywood’s ass” and could have “saved the entire theatrical industry” are heavy words from one of the greatest directors of all time. However, considering Top Gun: Maverick’s box office was something that no one saw coming and ended up taking almost as much as every movie outside the top 20 films of the year combined, they are not without merit.
In the end, many movies suffered at the box office due to being either released simultaneously on streaming platforms and VOD or coming to those mediums just a few weeks after their theatrical debut. This could still hurt the potential box offices of movies that are now guaranteed to hit Disney+ around 45-60 days after their cinema run. When potential audiences are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, the idea of paying out to take a trip to the cinema or waiting less than two months and being able to watch for free as a streaming subscriber is the reason why movies such as Encanto didn’t exactly make waves at the box office but became huge after their Disney+ debut.
In the end, there will be some movies that people just have to see in a theatrical surrounding, as the likes of Avatar: The Way of Water has proven, but there are other movies that just can’t cut it anymore and are better suited to home viewing. Top Gun: Maverick was one of those that deserved its theatrical run and was more than worth the wait.