‘Free Guy’ tops weekend box office in China amid pandemic
Published: Aug 29, 2021 04:50 PM
Promotional of <em>Free Guy</em> Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

Promotional of Free Guy Photo: Courtesy of Maoyan

Disney/20th Century Studios' action comedy Free Guy has been enjoying a good opening weekend in the Chinese mainland, rising to No.1 and looking to take in an estimated 135 million yuan ($20.9 million) at the weekend box office.  

The most recent Hollywood film released in the Chinese mainland, the film opened with 33 million yuan on Friday, followed by 58 million on Saturday.

As of Sunday afternoon, Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan shows that Free Guy had grossed 32 million at the daily box office, while on Chinese media review site Douban the film currently has nabbed a high score of 7.8/10. 

As Sunday's box office continues to rise, the film is estimated to take in more than 135 million yuan as the weekend comes to an end, according to some film insiders.

The comedic action film premiered in North America on August 13, where it also topped the box office charts in its opening weekend. As of Friday, the film has earned $69.9 million in North America, according to Box Office Mojo. 

Most Chinese moviegoers who watched the film commented that though the story has a "stereotypical plot," it is indeed very "funny."

Although Free Guy did not beat the first day openings of blockbusters Godzilla Vs. Kong and F9: The Fast Saga in the mainland, it has definitely achieved a great result in the 2021 summer holiday considering that it is dealing with increased pandemic controls in China.

An employee from Wanda cinemas told the Global Times on Sunday that the current seat capacity is still at 75 percent in low-risk areas, and visitors need to scan their health QR code to enter cinemas and wear face masks during the film.

Another employee at a Palace Cinema in Shanghai told the Global Times that while Free Guy has the highest number of screenings at the theater, the number of moviegoers has been quite low due to the pandemic, with only around a dozen moviegoers per screening.

China Film Administration in early August issued a statement that cinemas in low-risk areas must not exceed 75 percent capacity, while cinemas in middle- and high-risk areas must be closed. There are currently three high-risk and 15 middle-risk areas in China as of Friday.