‘Free Guy’ tops box office with surprisingly solid opening weekend

‘Free Guy’ tops box office with surprisingly solid opening weekend
Alan Markfield/Twentieth Century Fox

Free Guy,” an action comedy from Disney’s 20th Century Studios starring Ryan Reynolds, opened to an estimated $28.4 million at the North American box office this weekend.

That number was a bit of surprise: Industry experts predicted the film would make closer to $20 million in the region. “Free Guy” took in $50.9 million worldwide, according to the studio.

The success of the film, which stars Reynolds as a guy who comes to learn that he’s a background character in a video game, was unexpected because of concerns about rising Covid cases from the Delta variant. “Free Guy” also had a particularly solid weekend for a film that’s an original story rather than a sequel or reboot.

One potential reason for its success: “Free Guy” could be seen only in theaters as it wasn’t available via streaming. That may have given it a little bit of a boost at the box office, though it’s hard to know for sure.

This summer has had its fair share of surprising hits and misses, and “Free Guy” adds to the former. Yet what its opening weekend box office means for the health of the theater industry overall is hard to ascertain. During the pandemic, it’s difficult to make heads or tails of what box office totals have to say about the future of the industry or even what the next few weeks and months have in store. Theaters are still finding their footing, while Hollywood studios are experimenting with how to release films to audiences.

The box office haul for “Free Guy” proves the might of Reynolds, who has had a nice run at the ticket booth thanks to films like “Deadpool.” But overall, sometimes a box office win is newsy just because it was a box office win. That was the case for “Free Guy” and Disney this weekend.

The-CNN-Wire
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