NEW YORK (AP) — “Free Guy,” an action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a background character in a videogame, opened better than expected over the weekend. It collected an estimated $28.4 million in ticket sales despite a marketplace challenged by a few weeks of declining audiences and underwhelming debuts amid the delta variant surge. “Free Guy” succeeded with an old-school formula: an original, star-fronted movie with good word-of-mouth released only in theaters. The movie directed by Shawn Levy was made by the Walt Disney Co.-owned 20th Century Fox, with a theatrical release contractually stipulated. “Free Guy” is playing in 4,165 North American theaters. It was expected to debut around $20 million.
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