By now, Free Guy has been in theaters all but 24 hours, and it's already impressed Disney executives in a big way. As of Saturday afternoon, Free Guy lead Ryan Reynolds revealed the Mouse is wanting to push a sequel into development. The fan-favorite actor announced the news via his Twitter account in a way only he could get away with.
""Aaaannnnd after 3 years messaging #FreeGuy as an original IP movie, Disney confirmed today they officially want a sequel. Woo hoo!! #irony," the Deadpool alumnus tweeted.
Early tracking places the Shawn Levy film around $26 million in domestic box office returns for its opening weekend, a prominent chunk of change for the current status of the box office. Levy previously told ComicBook.com the movie's success largely came from Reynolds being able to serve as the "engine" that'd make the entire machine move.
"Yeah. The truth is, as I said, if you're lucky enough to direct Ryan Reynolds in a starring role, you get all these secret weapons in addition. And the truth is that Ryan has very quirky, weird, inspired musical taste," Levy said. "So whether it was the Mariah Carey song or make your own kind of music, like a deep cut from the '50s or '60s, Ryan sometimes will go, 'Is this a weird idea or should we try this song?' And what I've learned with Ryan is don't say no, at least give it a try because eight out of 10 times, it's going to be amazing, and it's going to make it into the movie."
The movie also happens to be Disney's largest of the COVID Era to be released strictly in theaters. Both Free Guy and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have shortened theatrical release windows so that Disney can analyze the data from the releases before deciding what to do with the rest of its upcoming slate.
"As you probably recognize, we live in a very uncertain world in terms of the recovery of some of our markets, and the theatrical exhibition world is certainly a part of that. We said from the very beginning that we value flexibility and being able to make as last-minute calls as we can, given what we see in the marketplace," Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on an investor's call this week. "Certainly, when we planned our schedule that we're executing right now, we did not anticipate — nor do I think anybody — the resurgence of Covid with a Delta variant that would have such a significant impact on the marketplace."