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Candyman Opening Weekend Box Exceeds Expectations With $22M

In an impressive feat this late into the summer-release window, Candyman has topped the domestic box-office, beating out Disney's Free GuyThe Nia DaCosta directed horror film is a reboot of the 1992 cult classic, with Jordan Peele's screenplay looking to flip the script on the portrayal of Black characters in the horror genre, similar to Peele's previous work with Get Out and UsCandyman returns audiences to the now gentrified Chicago suburb of Cabrini-Green and follows Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Anthony and Teyonah Parris' Brianna as they uncover the truth behind the original killings.

While the original film gained a cult following, it has not exactly aged well and has faced due criticism for its depiction of white-saviorism. DaCosta has been open about wanting to craft the titular villain into a more a nuanced character, and she likewise received praise from Candyman's stars for not brutalizing Black bodies in the film. Critics have responded positively to DaCosta's take on the Candyman mythos, praising her visual direction and the film's reimagining of classic elements.

Related: Candyman Cast & Character Guide

The critical praise for Candyman has now been matched by its box-office performance, with Deadline reporting that he film earned $22.4 million at the domestic box-office across its opening weekend. It's still significantly lower than what one would ordinarily expect, with box-office revenue still down as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the impending arrival of Hurricane Ida on the gulf coast. Still, the revenue still marks a strong opening - especially for a horror film. Interestingly, the revenue didn't follow expected trends, with Deadline also noting that Candyman's Saturday earnings saw an 8% increase from the opening night.

The overall amount was enough to unseat Disney's Free Guy, which held onto the top spot at the domestic box-office for two consecutive weeks - a rarity in the current climate. Part of this was accounted for by a lack of real competition from other releases last weekend, but it seems Candyman is exactly what was needed. That's not to say Free Guy didn't have a strong showing though; the Ryan Reynolds led film only eased by 30% and still earned $12.9 million over the past three days.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Candyman's grip on the top spot will hold as Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings releases next weekend and is expected to dwarf the competition. Still, the amounts earned by both Candyman and Free Guy suggests that there is still a strong desire to see movies in the cinema. It's worth noting though that both of these films are targeted towards adults - chiefly the all important 16-34 demographic. With a continued rise in COVID cases involving the Delta variant, families with children (who cannot yet be vaccinated) appear to be choosing to stay home and opt towards streaming releases.

This will likely affect the release of Shang-Chi somewhat, which is not seeing a hybrid release on Disney+'s premier access like Black Widow did, meaning that a large chunk of the audience will likely be absent. Other studios are equally scrambling amidst the down-turn of young audiences, with Sony selling the distribution rights to Hotel Transylvania 4 to Amazon, thereby foregoing theaters. Likewise MGM/United Artists are opting to make Addams Family 2 a hybrid release come October 1. Regardless though, a big-budget Marvel release like Shang-Chi may still see a sizable turnout that could help to mitigate the lack of family audiences, especially if Candyman's box-office performance is anything to go by.

More: How Is Candyman 2021 Connected To The Original Movies?

Source: Deadline

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