Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy has not even finished its first weekend in theaters and the star already said a sequel could happen. Free Guy finally hit theaters on Friday after frequently being delayed during the coronavirus pandemic. It reportedly grossed $10.5 million on its first full day in theaters and is expected to finish the weekend with about $26 million.
"Aaaannnnd after 3 years messaging Free Guy as an original IP movie, Disney confirmed today they officially want a sequel. Woo hoo," Reynolds tweeted, adding the hashtag "#irony." He included a GIF of Taika Waititi's character Antwan, who used the phrase "Albequerque Boiled Turkey" in the movie. "If it isn't called, Albuquerque Boiled Turkey we've failed," Reynolds added in a follow-up tweet.
If it isn’t called, “Albuquerque Boiled Turkey” we’ve failed.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 14, 2021
Free Guy was supposed to hit theaters last year, but it was delayed until this year because of the pandemic. It was directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and stars Reynolds as a non-playable character in an open-world video game who becomes a hero after Antwan decides to delete his creation. Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Joe Keery also star.
The film was produced by 20th Century Studios before Disney completed its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Thanks to this, Disney was tied to previous distribution deals Fox signed. Free Guy will be exclusively in theaters for 45 days, unlike Disney's Black Widow, Cruella, and Jungle Cruise, which had Disney+ Premier Access releases on the same day as they hit theaters. During a call Disney's earnings call with analysts on Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed they had to release Free Guy only in theaters, reports Variety.
Once Free Guy's theatrical window is up though, do not expect it to hit Disney+ anytime soon. Years ago, Fox signed a deal with WarnerMedia's predecessors to make HBO the exclusive home for theatrical releases' first pay-TV home. The last time Fox extended the deal was in 2012, and it does not expire until 2022. The animated movie Ron's Gone Wrong, Ridley Scott's The Last Duel, and Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake also fall under this deal.
It's also not clear if Free Guy will join HBO Max and HBO once the 45-day theatrical window is over. Disney could also release it on Blu-Ray and DVD before it hits HBO Max. Disney has not "confirmed anything beyond the theatrical date at this point" for Reynolds' movie, a spokesperson told Variety.
Free Guy is playing in 4,100 theaters in the U.S. It grossed $2.2 million on Thursday and $10.5 million on Friday, reports Deadline. It is now expected to hit $26.4 million by the end of the weekend. While this is more than expected, Free Guy wasn't cheap to make. It reportedly cost up to $125 million.