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Paramount Refused to Sell Top Gun 2 To Streaming Services

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According to a new report, Paramount refused to sell their highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick to any streaming services. Tom Cruise is set to return to the iconic role of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the sequel to his 1986 film Top Gun. Though audiences are eager to see Pete's latest high-flying adventures, Top Gun: Maverick has become one of the movies struggling to gain a foothold against the coronavirus pandemic. Top Gun: Maverick was once scheduled for release in June 2020, but the pandemic bumped it to December, then again to July of this year.

Though the COVID vaccine is gradually making its way out into the world, moviegoing in 2021 remains a tricky prospect. Most of 2020's major releases have set up new dates this year, but those are once again in danger as cases surge and vaccine rollout remains slow. Already, Sony has bumped Morbius to later in the year, and Warner Bros. made the stunning decision to release all of their 2021 movies on HBO Max on the same day as in theaters. Indeed, streaming has become a major avenue for big movie releases, something that would have been unthinkable just a year ago.

However, audiences shouldn't expect Top Gun: Maverick to join the likes of Mulan and (to an extent) Wonder Woman 1984. According to a new report from the WSJ, streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV+ were curious to see if Paramount would be willing to sell Top Gun: Maverick. However, sources say the studio wouldn't even consider it because of the strong box office earnings Maverick is expected to bring in.

This isn't too surprising, as box office returns are often a large reason why studio tentpoles avoid streaming releases. Warner Bros. has attempted to score the best of both worlds with their dual HBO Max releases, but not every studio has a streaming service in place. Paramount is set to take over CBS All Access and turn it into Paramount+ in just a couple of months, but it remains to be seen if that could become a home for new releases. Even if it does, Paramount is clearly not interested in missing out on the grosses Top Gun: Maverick could drum up.

Top Gun: Maverick isn't the only repeatedly delayed tentpole to be courted for a streaming deal, as MGM's James Bond flick No Time to Die reportedly passed on a deal with Apple months ago. If these movies keep getting delayed, streaming could very well end up becoming their future just so studios can avoid keeping them on the shelf for too long. However, there's still some time before that happens. With Top Gun: Maverick, July is still far enough away that a delay doesn't feel imminent. Paramount is hopeful about its prospects, so fans should still expect to see it in theaters.
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