Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds star in “Free Guy” at 20th Century Studios.
Walt Disney’s “Free Guy” grossed more than $ 28 million at the domestic box office on the opening weekend, exceeding expectations.
The 20th Century Studio film starring Ryan Reynolds was expected to gross between $ 15 million and $ 20 million in the first three days. With 22.5 million US dollars from international ticket sales, the film secured around 51 million US dollars worldwide.
Positive word of mouth resulted in “Free Guy” seeing a 24% increase in ticket sales between Friday and Saturday, the most of any tent poles released that summer. The performance of the film appears to have pleased Disney, which Reynolds said is reportedly interested in a sequel.
“[And] to [three] Years as the original IP film, Disney today confirmed that they officially want a sequel, “the actor wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Disney officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Box office analysts were eagerly watching the release of “Free Guy” as its theatrical-only release and original concept would be a barometer of the strength of the cinema industry.
Most of the high profile films that only appeared in theaters – such as Universals “F9” and Paramounts “A Quiet Place Part II” – belong to established film franchises and offer them a ready-made fan base.
“Free Guy emerged victorious in the latest box office stress test for the release model,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Dergarabedian said around 86% of theaters were open compared to 2019, the highest value in a weekend since March 2020.
“The film provides even more evidence that even in this challenging market, cinema exclusivity pays off not just on the opening weekend but over the long term,” he said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “F9”.