‘Free Guy’ Debuts No 1 At Box Office

  • Posted On:August 19, 2021

Disney and 20th Century Studios film ‘Free Guy’ landed top spot at the domestic box office gaining greater sales than predicted. Whilst overseas, the film accumulated $22.5 million for a global tally of $51 million. Whilst pre-pandemic this wouldn’t have been a cause for celebration as the production budget was $100 million, it’s most definitely an eye watering amount during our present times.

‘Free Guy’ marks an interesting test for the film exhibition industry due to the fact it’s playing exclusively in cinemas, which is extremely rare these days for a studio production. Many high-profile films that premiered during the pandemic, inclusive of Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ and ‘The Suicide Squad,’ were also available simultaneously on streaming platforms. The few films that landed their debut in cinemas only, like Universal’s ‘F9,’ Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s ’A Quiet Place Part II’ and Paramount’s ‘G.I. Joe’ origin story ‘Snake Eyes,’ were all sequels in audience favourite film franchises, unlike ‘Free Guy,’ which is based on an original concept and isn’t part of an existing movie universe.

The chief analyst at Box Office Pro Shawn Robbins said in an interview “Audiences love sequels, when they’re good, but sometimes you want something unique.” He added to this statement that at least some degree of the film's success on its debut opening weekend is because ‘Free Guy’ isn’t available to watch at home. “Considering ‘Free Guy’ is an original movie, Disney is probably feeling more confident going into ‘Shang Chi,” Shawn Robbins says of the upcoming Marvel movie, which, the same as Free Guy,’ will also have an exclusive 45-day theatrical window.

Audiences are no doubt still unsure of the certainty of Covid-19 and therefore deterring people from attending the cinema to its full potential, ‘Free Guy’ which is helmed by ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Night at the Museum’ director Shawn Levy, starring Ryan Reynolds, co-starring Jodie Comer and Taika Waititi,  most definitely had several factors working in the films favour. With great reviews and an ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences, it has also gained positive word-of-mouth over the weekend. The PG-13 film has benefitted too due to the fact it appealed to older males, a demographic that has appeared to be less wary about returning to the big screen. In the case of ‘Free Guy,’ 59% of opening weekend ticket buyers were male and nearly 80% were above the age of 18. Films that have their target audience geared toward younger crowds, like Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy,’ haven’t become box office juggernauts, mostly because families, especially those with unvaccinated children, have been more reluctant to go to cinemas.

’Free Guy’ has been tipped to continue as the top title at the box office with around $14M, -50%, after beating expectations last weekend.  The Ryan Reynolds PG-13 film is up to $34.8M through five-days, which is 33% ahead of the actor’s R-rated mid-August 2017 action title ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ over the same number of days.

To watch the trailer for ‘Free Guy’ please visit the link below