Despite the fact that Free Guy was a box office smash in theaters, the Disney+ version of the 2021 summer film is much better. The year 2021 presented substantial challenges for film studios, notably in determining whether films would receive streaming-only releases, exclusive theatrical releases, or simultaneous streaming and theatrical debuts on the same day. Following the outcry from Black Widow’s simultaneous Disney+ and cinematic releases, Disney released Free Guy in cinemas, which resulted in a longer delay for its Disney+ streaming debut.
Disney delayed nearly six months after the theatrical premiere of Free Guy in August 2021 before bringing it on its streaming channel. The advent of Free Guy came after the theatrically-released hits Encanto, Jungle Cruise, Eternals, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings made their Disney+ debuts in 2021. While certain films, such as Free Guy, fared better in theaters owing to their aesthetics, action, and major set pieces, other Disney films, such as The Jungle Book, are better suited to streaming after their theatrical runs.
While watching the film in cinemas was a wonderful experience due to the action and visuals, Free Guy’s star-studded cameos, numerous Easter eggs, and fast allusions make it ideal for seeing on Disney+. The climactic scene in Free Guy, where Guy shuffles through some of the most notable film and video game accessories, is an exciting moment to see on the big screen for the first time, but the sheer number of Easter eggs means that viewers are likely to miss a significant portion of the blink-and-miss-them jokes. Home viewers may pause, rewind, and revisit some of Free Guy’s greatest and most reference-filled sequences as many times as they want on Disney+. Furthermore, most of Free Guy’s famous cameos, such as Hugh Jackman, are buried in the video game characters or as voices, making it more probable for viewers to miss them unless they can filter through the film’s sequences more casually.
Although many of the Easter eggs and references in Free Guy were aimed at a more sophisticated audience, the Disney picture is also classified as a family-friendly feature. Because taking a family of kids to the cinema isn’t as feasible in the post-pandemic era, several of Disney’s family-friendly films have performed better on Disney+. Encanto, for example, premiered in cinemas last November before moving to Disney+ for the holidays. Encanto’s success exploded once it was made accessible for casual, simple watching at home, and it has since become one of Disney’s most successful animated films in years. Because Free Guy is also appropriate for youngsters who prefer a little more action, the film is likely to see an increase in attendance from children who want to watch and rewatch Ryan Reynolds wielding Captain America’s shield against a big version of himself.
As the final holdout from 20th Century Fox before the Disney acquisition, Free Guy is also one of Disney’s biggest films in recent years, despite low expectations. As a result, when contrasted to the company’s plethora of Marvel pictures launching around the same time, it wasn’t a significant lure for people to watch it in theaters. Those who subscribe to Disney+ but didn’t watch Free Guy in cinemas are likely to give it a second shot on the streaming service, as it’s a lighthearted action-comedy that doesn’t need immediate attention. With Encanto gaining a fresh lease on life after debuting on Disney+, Free Guy has discovered the ideal watching format for the second wave of popularity.