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'Free Guy’ dominates weekend box office, raking in $18.8M

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Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal talks 'Free Guy' topping the U.S. weekend box office as moviegoers head back to theaters.

Video Transcript

- Well, in this week's Fame and Fortune, an interesting data point to point to when it comes to some strength at the box office for once. You got a free guy, right? Ryan Reynolds movie delivering a second week that is giving people a bit of some confidence that people actually want to get back into the theaters.

And for more on that, I want to bring I'm Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal who's been watching the box office numbers for us. And I'm not exactly, Ale, your biggest Ryan Reynolds fan. But it seems like the film's actually been able to hold up.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: How are you doing Reynolds fans? I love Ryan Reynolds. He does a great job at promoting his films. But yeah, we have a pretty big box office battle.

Free guy continuing that box office momentum securing another $18.8 million in its second week. And that number is pretty significant. Because it only represents a 34% drop off.

Typically when movies debut in the theater, that second week they'll see a drop off between 50% and 60%. So that 34% figure represents the best second weekend hold for any wide release this summer.

So box office analyst continually have been impressed with three guy. Total global figures coming in at 112 million since its release. Another thing that makes this interesting overall is the fact that it had a theatrical only release was not available on streaming.

And typically, with these theatrical only releases that we've seen this summer. Paramount's a Quiet Place two. Universal's at nine. They've been big franchise films. And therefore, have a very loyal very engaged audience already.

So the fact that free guy was able to break through make that noise is a testament to how Ryan Reynolds goes about promoting his films. He was all over social media. There were a lot of commercials. It was very much in your face.

And that was able to break through in this uncertain time in this pandemic era with the Delta variant. Theaters have largely been struggling. But here we have three guys continuing to outperform.

- And I guess to your point benefiting from not being on a streaming platform. You had no choice. If you want to watch, you had to go in.

The second one on that box office list though Paw Patrol was able to be streamed on Paramount. Plus in it now I guess turns the conversation back to this idea of joint streaming and in the theaters releases. And maybe some of the tension there as-- as it might hold back some box office numbers.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, absolutely. And we have very surprising figures from the Paw Patrol movie opening at $12.7 million domestically this past weekend. Despite the fact is, as you mentioned, it was available to stream for free to over 42 million users on Paramount Plus.

And there were many reasons why analysts had dampened their outlook here. The movie was targeted to kids under the age of five. Again, we have that Delta variant looming. A lot of questions surrounding, where theaters stand in this pandemic.

Along with the fact that it was available for streaming. But what's interesting here is that we've been seeing that trend among these family friendly films.

Tom and Jerry, Jungle Cruise. It seems like parents just want to take their kids to see these one-off films at the theater rather than going ahead and ping yet another fee for another streaming service.

So although free guy did beat Paw Patrol in terms of that box office revenue this past weekend, it was by far the best performer among the new openers. And that did include a few adult skewed films.

We had the protege starring Maggie Q. The Phi thriller, reminiscence, which is also available on HBO Max. I did watch that on HBO Max.

I was very disappointed of a big Hugh Jackman fan. I did not think. It was that good. And then finally, we also have the horror film The Night House starring Rebecca Hall that did get good reviews. But did underperform at the box office.

Now analysts have said, there's been a lot of consumer confusion when it comes to all of these hybrid releases. You really don't know what films are available, where, and when. And because of that, if you want to break through, you have to generate social media buzz, you have to get that word of mouth out there.

And it seems like these feel good movies like a free guy like Paw Patrol. They're the ones that are able to really shine amid this uncertain time of the pandemic.

We'll have to see where things go from here as we see more movies coming out in the fall. We have some big franchise films that will be in the fall. And hopefully, that means more people are able to go back to the theater. But again, that Delta variant threat provides a big risk here.

- Yes. Especially when you're talking about younger kids too in movies targeted towards that audience. But Ale Canal, I appreciate you coming on here in this week's Fame and Fortune segment. Office box office. Maybe less so.