The movie Free Guy has been the surprise of the summer and continues to exceed expectations. On Monday, the Disney/20th Century Studios film passed $300 million at the worldwide box office, becoming just the fifth Hollywood title to cross this threshold in 2021. So far, the Ryan Reynolds film has grossed $114.1 million domestically and $203.3 million at the international box office for a total of $317.4 million.
This is not just a box office win for Disney, but this is also a win for original IP as this is the only original IP film to hit $300 million in 2021 and only the second, besides Tenet, to do so since the pandemic began. The video game-inspired film directed by Shawn Levy is a hit with both audiences and critics as it holds an 80% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A grade on Cinema Score.
While hitting $300 million seems tame compared to most blockbusters, considering Free Guy debuted in August, right as the Delta variant began to spread, it’s a relatively impressive showing at the box office. It was also the first release by Disney to be exclusive to theaters after both Jungle Cruise and Black Widow had hybrid releases in theaters and on Disney+. That was a decision that’s come back to haunt Disney, based on Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit filed against them.
Free Guy‘s box office was also given an assist as it received a release in China, an opportunity that many 2021 films still haven’t received. It premiered in China on August 27 and has grossed $89 million with a projection to finish around $93 million. It is the third highest-grossing film in China since that market reopened in July 2020.
In other countries, Free Guy‘s international numbers, according to Deadline, are “led by the UK ($21.2M), Russia ($10.8M), France ($5.2M), Saudi Arabia ($4.7M), Germany ($4.6M), Japan ($4.5M), Australia ($4.3M), Spain ($3.3M) and Mexico ($3.3M).”
Disney clearly has confidence in this IP as it has had a long theatrical run and Disney has confirmed, according to Ryan Reynolds, that they are interested in a sequel. On August 14, Reynolds tweeted, “Aaannnnd after 3 years messaging #FreeGuy as an original IP movie, Disney confirmed today they officially want a sequel. Woo hoo!! #irony.”
In fact, Free Guy was still making money at the box office as it came in at number 2 for the Sept. 17 weekend, posting $5.1 million. It came behind another Disney release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is continuing its successful domestic run, bringing in $21.6 million. However, Shang-Chi still hasn’t been given a release date in China, which will definitely hurt its total numbers at the international box office. The rest of the top 5 includes Cry Macho, the latest Clint Eastwood film, Candyman, and Malignant.
Free Guy stars Reynolds as an NPC (Non-Playable Character) in a video game world who breaks loose of the programming which keeps him doing the same things every day. He lives in a video game called Free City, a game that is a hybrid of both Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. The rest of the cast includes Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, and Lil Rel Howery. You can see more box office information at The Numbers.