One of the more overlooked financial repercussions of the pandemic era has been the severe lack of Hollywood movies scoring a theatrical release in China. The country’s box office has rebounded in much stronger fashion than domestic and most international markets, but there’s been a real dearth of American projects hitting local cinemas.
In fact, only two foreign titles have opened in the nation since Fast & Furious 9 debuted to a mammoth $160 million at the end of May, with both Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Pixar’s Luca failing to crack $5 million in their first frames. The Marvel Cinematic Universe in particular is missing out given the immense popularity of the franchise in China, but there’s good news for Ryan Reynolds’ Free Guy.
Having spent two weeks at the summit on home soil, Shawn Levy’s video game-inspired action comedy is poised to take the top spot in China this weekend with a haul that’s projected to wind up close to $20 million. While that’s far from spectacular when compared to something like F9, more cash in the coffers only bodes well for that sequel moving forward sooner rather than later.
Godzilla vs. Kong and the latest chapter in The Fast Saga rank as the two highest-grossing Hollywood films released since the beginning of 2020 thanks largely to their performances in China, so Free Guy gaining momentum and buzz to go with a bow at the top of the charts is a huge win for Disney and subsidiary 20th Century Studios.