Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Free Guy’ is at the top of N. American box office once again

Ryan Reynolds Free Guy is at the top of N. American box office once again
Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Free Guy’ is at the top of N. American box office once again

Sci-fi comedy Free Guy slipped but did not trip over the weekend as it clung to the top spot in North American movie theaters with a haul of $18.5 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Monday.

The film, its release delayed a year by the Covid-19 pandemic, is a lighthearted yarn starring Ryan Reynolds as an Everyman bank teller who finds — not unlike Jim Carrey’s character in The Truman Show — that he is a character in a huge video game and must save his friends from being deleted.

Family-friendly Free Guy was off from its $28 million opening weekend, but analysts said its result was impressive with Covid-19 still hanging over the industry and Tropical Storm Henri deterring moviegoers in the US Northeast. It has a healthy global take so far of $112 million.

In second position, earning $13.1 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period, was new Paramount release Paw Patrol: The Movie. That was a respectable total, said Variety.com, for a film aimed at young kids — who remain ineligible for Covid vaccines.

Paw Patrol tells the story of a boy named Ryder and the brave pups who help him save Adventure City from a colossally evil mayor.

Third spot went to Disney’s family adventure film Jungle Cruise, at $6.3 million. Its plot — well, suffice it to say it is based on a theme-park ride.

Horror feature Don’t Breathe 2, from Sony, followed with a $5.1 million take in its second weekend. Starring Stephen Lang — who has what website Rotten Tomatoes calls a “thrillingly imposing presence” — it revolves around a game of mass murder perpetuated by a blind veteran.

And in fifth place was United Artists’ biopic Respect, at $3.8 million. Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson stars as queen of soul Aretha Franklin — who reportedly picked Hudson for the role. The Washington Post calls her portrayal a “kind of creative — even spiritual — mind-meld that sends a chill down the spine and a catch to the throat.”

Rounding out the top 10 were:

The Suicide Squad ($3.4 million)

The Protégé ($2.9 million)

The Night House ($2.9 million)

Reminiscence ($2 million)

Old ($1.1 million)

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