Box Office: Free Guy out in front

    Author Tom Linay

Free Guy delivered this weekend, opening with an impressive £2.5m, which includes £87k from previews. While Ryan Reynolds has experienced huge success with Deadpool, his other projects haven’t always connected with audiences, as The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard proved when it opened in June and is up to £3.8m to date. See also Criminal, Self/Less, Life. So Free Guy was by no means a dead cert, especially in these uncertain times, but an opening of £2.5m is higher than Disney’s Jungle Cruise managed a couple of weekends ago. It’s also worth remembering that Free Guy is Disney’s first theatrical exclusive of 2021.

Coming in just £66k behind  Free Guy is The Paw Patrol Movie. It’s debut of £2.4m, including £1.2m from previews after opening on Monday. This is the sixth time Paw Patrol have appeared on the big screen and this is by far their best performance with 2020’s Paw Patrol: Ready Race Rescue the previous best finishing its run with £1.9m.

In the face of some decent weather, the rest of the top 10 suffered hefty drops, with last weekend’s top film, The Suicide Squad falling 53% to £1.1m in third. That takes its total to £10.8m after three weekends and it has sailed past the final total of Birds Of Prey, which finished on £8.8m. The Suicide Squad’s strong performance is in stark contrast to its performance in the US (see below), where it was available to watch at home as well as in cinemas.

Jungle Cruise added £847k in fourth, a drop of 57%, which takes its total to £8.5m. Its appeal to the family audience has seen it holding up more strongly than The Suicide Squad in the week, so it may end up closing the gap between the two over the next few weeks. Space Jam: A New Legacy completed the top five, adding £506k, which was enough to take it past the £10m mark and it now sits on £10.1m.

Outside of the top five, there were a couple of new entries in seventh and eighth as Don’t Breathe kicked off its run with £350k and The Courier opened with £339k. Black Widow crossed the £18m mark in 10th and is now on £18.2m and has overtaken the final total of Ant-Man And The Wasp (£17.8m).

Overall the box office was up 5% from last weekend.

Next Weekend

People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan is the big screen debut of Kurupt FM, from the BBC sitcom People Just Do Nothing. Since the end of their pirate radio station, life has been quiet for the Kurupt FM boys, but everything is about to change as one of their songs has been used on a popular game show in Japan. It’s in cinemas on Wednesday.

Snake Eyes is a G.I. Joe spin-off. An ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage welcomes tenacious loner Snake Eyes after he saves the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach him the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing him something he's been longing for: a home. However, when secrets from Snake Eyes' past are revealed, his honor and allegiance get tested -- even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him. Henry Golding stars. It’s in cinemas on Wednesday.

Censor is a British horror starring Niamh Algar and Michael Smiley. After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister's disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.

Reminiscence is sci-fi romance reuniting The Greatest Showman’s Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson. Jackman stars as a scientist who discovers a way to relive your past and uses the technology to search for his long lost love. It also stars Thandiwe Newton.

The Night House is a spooky thriller starring Rebecca Hall as a widow who begins to uncover her recently deceased husband's disturbing secrets.

Pig is a thriller starring Nicolas Cage as a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness but must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.

Across The Pond

Free Guy opened in the top spot in the US with a better-than-expected $29.4m. It had been forecast to open in the $15-$19m range. It’s also worth remembering that this is Disney’s first theatrical exclusive of the year. Don’t Breathe 2 opened in second with $10.6m, which is a solid result considering the film only had a budget of $15m. Jungle Cruise came in third, adding $9m for a new total of $82.1m, while Aretha Franklin biopic Respect opened in fourth with $8.8m. Finally, The Suicide Squad plummeted 70% in its second weekend to $7.6m and a new total of $42.9m.