This weekend, Ryan Reynolds is back and ready to take on the weekend box office through the original action comedy Free Guy. The highly-anticipated movie that is set in an open world video game comes as the world grapples with another wave of COVID-19 led by the delta variant. Ahead of Free Guy's opening weekend box office results, the Thursday opening night numbers have rolled in.
Free Guy made $2.2 million out of first-come viewers of the film on domestic Thursday night screenings starting at 6 pm. The movie reportedly cost over $100 million to produce and spent an additional $10.3 million on television marketing ahead of its release. Deadline projects a modest opening weekend for the Ryan Reynolds-led film, which could continue a recent downtrend for the summer box office.
Theaters are coming off the disappointing debut for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which topped the box office with just $26 million. The weekend before, Jungle Cruise was the top earner with a $34 million haul. With a look at the upcoming Free Guy projections, Ryan Reynolds’ movie is not expected to bring up numbers. Forecasts believe it could make in the neighborhood of $20 million on its opening weekend, as shared by Box Office Pro.
The Free Guy numbers are overall modest, but against some major circumstances. They're a far cry from Black Widow’s huge $80 million opening or F9’s $70 million earlier this summer, but perhaps looking at something close to Cruella’s performance, which started at $21 million before ending its box office run at $221 million worldwide (though it should be noted that it was simultaneously available on Disney+ Premier Access and up against a bigger 2021 hit, A Quiet Place Part II).
By comparison, Jungle Cruise opened at $2.7 million on its first night two weeks ago, while The Suicide Squad made $4.1 million on its opening Thursday screenings to a lower overall weekend than Cruise. All and all, it doesn’t look like Free Guy is going to blow any minds with its exclusive theatrical release. Unlike other recent releases, the 20th Century Studios/Disney film will not hit streaming, but remain solely on big-screens for a 45-day window.
Free Guy has been met warmly by critics with overwhelmingly positive reviews, including CinemaBlend’s 4 out of 5 stars review, calling it one of the most fun audiences could have at the theaters this summer. The movie is directed by Shawn Levy, who was previously behind the Night of the Museum movies and Stranger Things (and the ReelBlend podcast’s latest guest).
The new release is about a bank teller named Guy who finds out he’s a non-player character inside a video game. Free Guy also starring Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Lil Rel Howery and Joe Keery is playing in theaters now. Are you planning to check it out? Vote in our poll below.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.