Paramount to release 'Mission: Impossible 5' in July, not on Christmas

'Mission: Impossible 5' will sneak into theaters July 31 -- five months earlier than anticipated

Christmas is coming early for "Mission: Impossible" fans this year. Paramount Pictures has moved the release date for "Mission: Impossible 5" up to July 31, five months ahead of its previous Dec. 25 date.

The next installment of the blockbuster spy franchise features returning stars Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner. Christopher McQuarrie, a regular Cruise collaborator and Oscar-winning screenwriter for "The Usual Suspects," is directing.

On its new date, "Mission: Impossible 5" will open on the same time frame that launched Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" to box-office success last year. By moving, the secret-agent sequel will also avoid a showdown with the second week of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (directed by "MI5" producer J.J. Abrams) and get a jump on rival spy flick "Spectre," the James Bond movie opening Nov. 6.

"MI5" is now slated to open against the Warner Bros. remake of "Point Break," Weinstein Co's. boxing drama "Southpaw" and Focus Features' sci-fi thriller "Self/Less."

To fill its Christmas vacancy, Paramount pushed back the release of its hybrid live-action/computer-animated film "Monster Trucks," which was previously to open May 29.

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