Tom Cruise has made his stance known on streaming premieres, and he says Top Gun: Maverick won’t be among them. Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world throughout 2020 and 2021, a premiere in a movie theater was out of the question. That many people crammed into such a small place posed a real danger. It also thoroughly affected the theaters themselves, forcing closures and sending stock prices plummeting.

In the wake of all that, many studios turned to streaming as the perfect place to debut new films. The responses to all that were mixed to say the least. Some services charged $20 or $30 in addition to a subscription fee, like Disney+ with their releases of Mulan or Cruella. The logic was that you’d spend that much on a theater experience anyway, and if multiple people are watching, they’d be losing out on profits at a cheaper price.

At the Cannes Film Festival this week, Top Gun: Maverick met with rave reviews from critics, and it’s slated to do some serious numbers at the box office. When asked if there was ever a point where the film could have premiered on streaming, Cruise made it clear that was not an option. He said...

‘That’s not going to happen. Ever. I’ve spent a lot of time with theater owners. The people that serve the popcorn, the ones who make this [happen].’ He explained that he called a lot of movie theater owners personally to say: ‘Please, I know what you’re going through. Just know we are making ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Top Gun’ is coming out.’

Cruise also said: “I make movies for the big screen,” and he’s right. The guy makes pulse-pounding action movies with larger-than-life set pieces. He also admitted that he frequents small theaters in disguise to see audience reactions to his films. At the end of the day, he needs theaters. He’s currently in the middle of filming two more Mission: Impossible movies back to back.

Top Gun: Maverick will be debuting in theaters nationwide on May 27.

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