Disney aren’t having the easiest time at the moment when it comes to navigating the choppy waters of the theatrical industry, with several of the studio’s recent marquee releases experiencing vastly different fortunes in terms of both personnel and audience reactions.
Black Widow smashed pandemic-era records and is closing in on a global haul of $370 million, but star Scarlett Johansson ended up suing the Mouse House for breach of contract, which quickly descended into public name-calling. Meanwhile, Dwayne Johnson said it was important for Premier Access to be an option for audiences, and sequel talks have already been held even though the theme park adaptation hasn’t yet cracked $150 million worldwide.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is looking more and more likely to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first major bomb after early projections indicated it was set for a franchise-low opening weekend, and fans have voiced their concerns about heading down to the multiplex to see it. However, another sliver of light has arrived in the form of Free Guy, which comfortably topped the box office after premiering on Friday.
Taking to social media, star and producer Ryan Reynolds thanked fans and audiences around the world for coming together and heading to the biggest screen they could find to enjoy the video game-inspired action comedy, as you can see below.
Business isn’t out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination, and it might not even recover by the end of 2021, so movies like Free Guy will be key to drawing in the crowds. A light-hearted and fun-filled slice of escapism that can only be found in theaters, it’s exactly the sort of project the summer months were made for.