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 ProtÃ©gÃ© ($2.9 million)
The Night House ($2.9 million)
Reminiscence ($2 million)
Old ($1.1 million)
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