Back in 2012, HBO and 20th Century Fox made a ten-year contract which would mean all 20th Century Fox’s films would go to HBO after their theatrical release. This drastically reduced Disney’s ability to utilise new releases like “Free Guy” or “Ron’s Gone Wrong” on its own streaming service.
The deal is due to expire this year, but last November, Disney announced that it had made a deal with HBO Max, that they would continue to get access to all of 20th Century Studios films until the end of 2022 and retain pay-one TV window exclusivity on approximately half of the slate through 2022. But, a selection of titles will now be shared with Disney+ and Hulu.
In February, Disney released one of the biggest box office hits of 2021, “Free Guy” onto Disney+ and HBO Max in the United States, as according to Samba TV, over 2.5 million US households watched “Free Guy” on Disney+ and HBO Max over the first five days.
By contrast, Both Marvel’s “Eternals” and “Encanto” were viewed on Disney+ by 2 million US households each over the first five days. Showing the popularity of “Free Guy” but also how being available on more platforms has led to more people watching it.
“Free Guy” tells the story of what happens when a bank teller discovers he’s actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story — one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there’s no limits, he’s determined to save the day his way before it’s too late, and maybe find a little romance with the coder who conceived him.
Did you watch “Free Guy” on Disney+ or HBO Max in February?