“Candyman” was summoned to the top of domestic box office charts, collecting an impressive $22.37 million from 3,569 theaters in its first three days of release.
At a time when Covid-19 cases are +20% in the U.S. to 156K over two weeks, and Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the Gulf Coast today, Universal/MGM/Monkeypaw’s Candyman is prevailing with a great late August start of $22.4M.
Also, another encouraging sign for the box office, especially on a horror film, is that business wasn’t entirely frontloaded, which is typically the case: Candyman‘s Saturday of $7.78M was +8% over Friday after backing out Thursday night previews.
For a movie that has debuted during the final frame of August, Candyman ranks fourth behind 2009’s Final Destination ($27.4M), 2016’s Don’t Breathe ($26.4M) and 2007’s Halloween ($26.3M). In fact, you could argue that Candyman is the third-best opening for the final weekend of August, as Halloween technically bowed over Labor Day weekend.
“Nia DaCosta crafted an intense thriller that audiences responded to extraordinarily well this weekend. The debut of Candyman exceeded all industry expectations, and with the very positive audience reaction scores and a three-day holiday in our second weekend, we’re anticipating a strong theatrical run at the domestic box office,” said Universal’s Domestic Theatrical Distribution President, Jim Orr.
Candyman was hatched at MGM back in the fall of 2018, as the studio owns the IP from its acquisition of the PolyGram film library. In fact, in the new movie, there’s an Easter Egg paying homage to the horror film’s older studio: There’s a high school in the movie named after late PolyGram Boss Steve Golin.
Jordan Peele approached Jonathan Glickman, who was then President of the MGM Motion Picture Film Group, with the idea of writing and producing a take on Candyman which would redefine the perspective of African Americans in horror films.
The original movie takes place in the Chicago neighborhood of Cabrini-Greene (which was also the setting for the 1970s sitcom Good Times), a public housing project that has been torn down. Peele’s version of Candyman would study what happened when you build on top of a neighborhood with a past; you can’t hide its roots underground. Glickman gave the greenlight. However, because of Peele’s deal at Universal, the film was segued to them for distribution and marketing. Peele wanted a theatrical release, and hence Uni held it during the pandemic, the production being shot in the fall of 2019 for roughly $20M.
Congrats Nia DaCosta, as well as the cast and crew on an impressive opening.