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The family-friendly action-comedy, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Shawn Levy, fell a mere 34 percent in its second weekend to $18.8 million for a 10-day domestic total of $58.8 million. Free Guy, sporting the lowest decline of any film opening north of $10 million in the pandemic era, had no trouble staying at No. 1 thanks to great word of mouth.
Overseas, it was also a hero, earning $17.1 million from 46 markets as it sailed past the $100 million mark globally to finish Sunday with a worldwide total of $111.9 million. It stayed No. 1 in many territories, including the U.K., and overall fell just 26 percent internationally.
Free Guy‘s closest competitor over the weekend was Paramount’s PAW Patrol: The Movie, which opened to a better-than-expected $13 million domestically despite the fact that it also debuted day-and-date on Paramount+. (Free Guy is receiving an exclusive theatrical release for 45 days before heading to Disney+.)
PAW Patrol, produced by Spin Master and adapted from the television series, did best in the South and Midwest. It also overperformed in Canada, where Spin Master is based. Audiences bestowed the film with an A- CinemaScore, while kids gave it glowing exit scores.
The animated film is also doing pleasing business overseas, where it earned another $12.8 million this weekend from 33 territories for a foreign total of $21.5 million and $34.5 million worldwide.
Among holdovers, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, which is available in the home via Disney+ Premier Access, also held in well its third outing to place No. 3. The Dwayne Johnson-Emily Blunt starrer grossed $6.2 million for a domestic total of $92.5 million and $173.7 million globally.
Disney’s overall weekend grosses included Luca‘s China debut. The Pixar film is the first Hollywood tentpole to receive a release date in the Middle Kingdom in months. Luca came in No. 2 with $5 million, which, in comparison to other Pixar titles, is 83 percent ahead of Onward and 9 percent behind Soul.
In North America, Sony and Stage 6’s Don’t Breathe 2 came in fourth with roughly $5 million, followed by MGM and UAR’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson. Respect fell 57 percent to $3.8 million for a 10-day domestic total of $15.7 million.
Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad placed No. 6 with $3.4 million for a domestic total of $49.3 million and $140.8 million globally. (The DC pic can also be viewed on HBO Max).
Three new offerings followed, all of which fell flat in their box office debuts, beginning with adult action-thriller The Protege starring Michael Keaton, Maggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson. From Lionsgate and Millennium, The Protege had trouble cracking $3 million.
Coming in No. 8 was The Night House, starring Rebecca Hall. The horror pic grossed roughly $2.8 million after earning a C CinemaScore.
Reminiscence, another movie opening simultaneously in the home via HBO Max and on the big screen, bombed in its debut despite a high-profile cast. The Warner Bros.’ science-fiction thriller opened to an estimated $2 million weekend for a ninth-place finish.
Directed by Lisa Joy, Reminiscence stars Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton, Cliff Curtis, Marina de Tavira and Daniel Wu. The movie earned mixed reviews from critics and fared even worse with audiences, who gave it a C+ CinemaScore.
Both Reminiscence and The Protege could have benefitted from older audiences, who are the most reluctant to return to movie theaters amid another surge in COVID-19 cases that are largely attributable to the delta variant, according to polling data.
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