Good news has been hard to come by for theatrical releases over the last 18 months, with the definition of a commercial win these days not even half of what a movie would be expected to earn under normal circumstances. However, by all accounts, Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy can be deemed an unqualified success.
Not only did it score enough critical acclaim to be ranked as one of the greatest action comedies ever made by Rotten Tomatoes, which is entirely debatable, but it’s become just the fifth title of 2021 to cross $300 million at the global box office. On top of that, it’s also the biggest earner not based on an original property since Christopher Nolan’s Tenet landed last summer, as per Deadline.
Thanks to strong showings both domestically and in China, Free Guy has joined the club populated by Fast & Furious 9 and Godzilla vs. Kong, along with Marvel Cinematic Universe duo Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Between those two aforementioned countries alone, the video game-inspired blockbuster hauled in close to $200 million, so it’s little wonder Disney is already pushing for a sequel.
Maybe Free Guy‘s success will nudge studios toward taking a chance on original IPs more often. Then again, the effects of the pandemic are just as likely to see the industry retreat to its franchise-friendly comfort zone in greater numbers than ever.