Friday Box Office: ‘Free Guy’ Tops $50M In China While ‘Candyman’ Drops 69%

In Friday box office news that isn’t Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($29.5 million on Friday for a likely $70 million Fri-Sun/$85 million Fri-Mon debut), 20th Century’s Free Guy continued to kick butt in China. The well-reviewed and well-received Ryan Reynolds/Jodie Comer video game comedy earned another $3.7 million on Friday (-27% from its opening day gross) and $8.2 million (-8.9%) on Saturday for a new $50.5 million cume.

It should pass The Croods: A New Age ($54 million) and Soul ($58 million) by Sunday or Monday, with Tenet ($66 million) next on the “list.” As frankly expected, this pop culture-specific, video game-entrenched crowdpleaser is performing quite well with a Chinese audience that craves either local Chinese tentpoles or genuinely “foreign” movies. Free Guy is a distinctly American popcorn movie, as was Ready Player One, Green Book and Zootopia.

Free Guy is also holding firm in North America as well, earning another $2.04 million (-43%) for a likely $11.58 million (-19%) fourth weekend for a $94.8 million 24-day cume. It’ll pass $100 million domestic sometime next week as it races to $300 million worldwide. Covid or no Covid, $300 million-plus for an over/under $115 million, original, star-driven high-concept flick is an absolute win. I’d have been happy with such a result even sans the variables related to Covid and the current climate change-related storms pummeling America at the moment.

We can debate the complicated issues at play with Disney moving forward with a Jungle Cruise sequel. The legs are great and it’ll have $107 million domestic tomorrow after a 7% drop in weekend six, but the Dwayne Johnson/Emily Blunt flick will barely top $200 million in global theatrical earnings (plus whatever it made on Disney+ Premier Access). Free Guy getting an eventual/likely sequel needs no detailed explanation other than “well-liked movie with fun characters made money in theaters.”

Universal’s Candyman took a somewhat expected drop on its second Friday, earning $2.81 million (-69%) for a likely $10.4 million (-54%) Fri-Sun/$13.26 million Fri-Mon second-weekend gross. The $25 million Nia DaCosta-directed horror sequel will have $42 million in 11 days. In other horror movie updates, Don’t Breathe 2 (which debuted on PVOD on Friday) will nab a likely $2.22 million (-22%) Fri-Sun/$2.78 million Fri-Mon frame. That’ll give the $10 million horror sequel a $28.6 million 25-day cume, or just above what the first Don’t Breathe opened with ($26 million) in August 2016.

Searchlight’s The Night House will have $6.4 million after 18 days following a $650,000 Fri-Mon frame while Old will earn $590,000 over the holiday for a $47.37 million (on an $18 million budget) domestic cume. Escape Room 2 has earned $25.4 million domestic (on a $15 million budget) while The Forever Purge will have $44.4 million (on a $25 million budget) by Monday. Paramount’s Paw Patrol (concurrently available on Paramount+) will earn $5.62 million over the holiday for a $32 million 18-day total, while MGM’s Respect will have $22.4 million after 25 days.

The Suicide Squad earned $220,000 (-60%) on Friday for a likely $1.24 million Fri-Mon weekend for a $54.7 million cume as it exits HBO Max. Black Widow will earn $1.05 million over the holiday in weekend nine for a $182.8 million cume, while Martin Campbell’s The Protégé will earn $720,000 over the Fri-Mon frame for a $7.09 million 18-day cume. Space Jam: A New Legacy will cross $70 million this weekend while A24’s The Green Knight will end Labor Day just under $17 million. F9 will earn $108,000 for a $172.89 million total. Poor, under-loved Reminiscence will earn $47,000 (-94%) in its third Fri-Sun frame for a $3.85 million cume.

The Tycoon Herald