Nia DaCosta’s Candyman Had a Sweet Opening Weekend

Nia DaCosta’s Candyman Had a Sweet Opening Weekend
Watchmen's Yahya Abdul Mateen II sees something he does not like. (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Nia DaCosta’s sequel to the cult 1992 horror classic of the same name, Candyman, had a triumphant weekend at the box office.

The film was not released on-demand or streaming but made $US22.37 ($31) million after being released in 3,569 theatres in the U.S., with an additional $US5 ($7) million internationally.

Perhaps the film’s greater achievement was becoming the first number one film at the box office from a Black female director ever. In addition to directing and producing, respectively, DaCosta and Jordan Peele wrote the Candyman sequel’s script together with Win Rosenfeld. Both critics and fans have given the film a thumbs up; its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 85% and 74% for critics and fans, respectively.

Candyman’s opening-weekend box office take is enough to recoup its $US25 ($34) million budget — no small feat for any movie released in 2021, and, as Variety says, Candyman also “appears on track to become one of the rare pandemic-era releases to become profitable during its theatrical run.”

Compare that to the recently released Free Guy, which earned $US28 ($38) million its opening weekend, but had a budget in excess of $US100 ($137) million — that film made an additional $US13.6 ($19) million this weekend, a strong showing for its third week. Disney’s Jungle Cruise, however, earned only $US5 ($7) million, putting it behind Paw Patrol: The Movie’s $US6.6 ($9) million.

Part of Candyman’s theatrical success surely comes from the fact that it, like Free Guy, wasn’t simultaneously released on some streaming service (e.g., Jungle Cruise). Anyone who wanted to see the new film had to go to movie theatres to do so. However, despite the movie having a better financial debut than expected, it’s worth noting that the overall box office is still less than 50% of what it was at this point in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Candyman stars Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy, an artist who becomes inspired by the legend of the Candyman, not knowing his connection to the vengeful entity that arrives every time his name is spoken five times in front of a mirror. Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Coleman Domingo also star, along with a few surprises. DaCosta’s next project will reteam her with Parris for the Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels, starring Brie Larsen as Carol Danvers, Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, and Parris as Monica Rambeau — a.k.a. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and, uh, Monica Rambeau, respectively.

The Marvels is currently scheduled to premiere in November of 2022.