Will ‘Free Guy’ Withstand Hollywood’s Video Game Movie Curse? Here’s What We Know Of Its Release Strategy
Super Mario Bros: The Movie was Hollywood’s first blockbuster video game movie and arguably the last to date. The movie was released on May 28, 1993.
Yes, it has been nearly three decades since Hollywood released a blockbuster video game movie.
The likes of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, Hitman: Agent 47, or the recently released Mortal Kombat all showed promise but failed on the audience’s expectations by turning out to be a flop show.
But now, with Ryan Reynolds starrer Free Guy coming out in August 2021, could there be another movie making its cut to the “disappointment” list? Or perhaps withstanding Hollywood’s video game movie curse?
'Free Guy' Has All the Right Ingredients
With no video game movie satisfying the movie buffs' appetites for a long time, Free Guy might have found the right ingredients to hit the taste buds.
First, it stars 44-year-old Reynolds, who has stormed the box office with hits like the Deadpool film series, Detective Pikachu, and 6 Underground.
The actor is set to play the title character, Guy, a bank teller, who realizes that he’s a non-playable character in an MMORPG.
Guy’s world is full of unbelievable surprises, too. For instance, one day, he comes across a pair of glasses that allows him to see elements of the game like giant medical kits, player levels, and health bars - that only the players can see.
Knowing that, he goes against his scripted role as a helpless character, utilizes his unique abilities to fight the bad guys, and transforms himself into the hero for his city.
This concept of Free Guy makes it the perfect kind of video game movie one expects it to be.
The trailer also gives a sneak peek at how the movie plans to tease viewers with such conventions, specifically in the context of open-world MMORPGs. The film's synopsis on its YouTube trailer's description reads,
A bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late.
All that being said, it is yet to be seen if Free Guy meets the expectations by bringing a new dawn to the video game movie genre.
Its Release Was Delayed
Free Guy was originally slated for release in 2020, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, after a long wait, the movie, which was produced by 20th Century Studios, and now owned by Disney, is announced to hit the theaters on August 13, 2021.
But while Disney released a hit movie like Black Widow in theaters and Disney+ simultaneously, they will have a 45-day theatrical window before releasing Free Guy on its online platform.
Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, confirmed the details during an earnings call earlier on May 13, 2021.
Well, that’s another strategy to bring audiences back to the theaters and generate extra revenues from ticket sales.