Image: 20th Century Studios

Nobody seemed convinced that Ryan Reynolds’ new sci-fi action film would do well at the box office due to renewed concerns over coronavirus, but Free Guy has actually managed to beat expectations. The movie has made $28.4 million domestically, which, while nothing spectacular compared to pre-pandemic figures, was apparently far higher than what industry insiders had predicted.

Free Guy’s impressive opening haul is notable for a few reasons, with one being its theatrical exclusivity. Unlike other recent films by Disney that had day-one streaming releases to fall back on, Free Guy is only available to watch in theaters, which have been experiencing lower attendances again due to rising reports of COVID-19 variants.

Free Guy’s performance is also notable for being, as director Shawn Levy put it, “the first non-IP, non-sequel that Disney has released in literally years.” This made Free Guy a risky proposition despite Ryan Reynolds’ star power, but the bet appears to have paid off for 20th Century Studios and its parent company.

Free Guy is trailed by Don’t Breathe 2 and Jungle Cruise, which made $10.6 million and $9 million over the weekend, respectively. The former is another new release starring Avatar’s Stephen Lang, who returns in his role as the blind antagonist from the original 2016 thriller, while Jungle Cruise, based on the popular Disneyland ride, has made a total of $82 million thus far.

Reynolds took to Twitter yesterday and revealed that Disney is keen on developing a sequel to Free Guy. In the film, Reynolds stars as a bank teller who learns that he’s an NPC stuck in a video game. The actor is joined by actress Jodie Comer and director Taika Waititi.

“I want the studios to see that when we give the culture, when we give the audience, something new and original, and therefore inherently original, the audience comes, the audience exists,” says Levy. “If we end up evolving in an industry that is nothing but sequels and franchises, we’ll be the poorer for it,” he adds, “Not just as an industry, but as a culture.”

Source: Deadline

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8 Comments

  1. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 39659, member: 96″]
    Well it’s easier to meet your expectation if it’s realistic
    [/QUOTE]

    That’s just it. Disney got used to printing money with 200 million dollar movies with equally large marketing budgets that grossed in the 1.1-1.2’ish billion dollar range. It seemed to think that it could just keep doing that over and over again with whatever they were doing.

  2. I think I might not be the only one superhero’ed out. One can hope for MCU and DCU more and more flops.

  3. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 39670, member: 397″]
    I think I might not be the only one superhero’ed out. One can hope for MCU and DCU more and more flops.
    [/QUOTE]

    I’d like to see more things that aren’t super hero related but I don’t have a problem with these films so long as they maintain their quality. Unfortunately, they are doing so less and less.

  4. [QUOTE=”Dan_D, post: 39671, member: 6″]
    I’d like to see more things that aren’t super hero related but I don’t have a problem with these films so long as they maintain their quality. Unfortunately, they are doing so less and less.
    [/QUOTE]
    I wouldn’t mind them, since I can just not watch them, but it has become zero sum and they are sucking all the air in the room as it were, allowing for very little else. Hence personally I am now hoping for a lot of failure ( pretty sure ain’t getting in sufficient amounts)

  5. What we really need is a new IP that can draw in large numbers over time and really kick start an new ip. I can only think of one lead actor or actress that has managed to do that. And that is Keanu Reeves. (Sp).

    He’s lead the way on both John wick and the Matrix. Him and Robert Downy Jr. Are in my mind two of the best leading men out there.

  6. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 39676, member: 215″]
    What we really need is a new IP that can draw in large numbers over time and really kick start an new ip.
    [/QUOTE]
    A few have tried in recent years and somewhat failed. It’s hard to find that sweet spot.

    Valerian-flopped like nobody’s business
    Alita-might get a sequel
    Ready Player One-Spielberg is reportedly working on more
    Jupiter Ascending-tried to set the stage for a giant space opera but couldn’t draw the crowds
    Pacific Rim-2nd kind of sucked but set up a 3rd in a big way, it’ll probably never happen

  7. [QUOTE=”Peter_Brosdahl, post: 39680, member: 87″]
    A few have tried in recent years and somewhat failed. It’s hard to find that sweet spot.

    Valerian-flopped like nobody’s business
    Alita-might get a sequel
    Ready Player One-Spielberg is reportedly working on more
    Jupiter Ascending-tried to set the stage for a giant space opera but couldn’t draw the crowds
    Pacific Rim-2nd kind of sucked but set up a 3rd in a big way, it’ll probably never happen
    [/QUOTE]
    I am surprised they let Avatar sit as long as they have – that was one that had the possibility of kicking off a series. I know it still might, but it’s been more than a decade since the first – not sure people are going to care as much.

    Dune has a good chance, if the first one can pull off the movie adaptation. The books cover a lot of ground – most of that would be difficult to make into good screen time though.

    Ender’s Game was another one where the books had a lot of good material to make it into a good series, but the movie wasn’t quite up to the challenge so it died after the first.

    I’m wondering if we aren’t done with the big screen series IPs… we still have MU (/sigh), but I think that’s on a downward trend as well. It seems everything big and has an impact on the culture is shifting over to mini-series or seasonal format for streaming. The Netflix / HBO format may be the new blockbuster. Game of Thrones was probably the biggest draw of the last decade – at least in terms of cultural impact I think it was bigger than MU, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear MU drew more revenue.

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