Box Office: ‘Candyman’ Slashes Its Way to $22M Opening

This weekend’s box office is marked by an impressive pandemic performance with MGM/Universal’s Candyman and the holding power of 20th Century/Disney’s Free Guy.

Candyman has earned $22.37 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend at 3,569 theaters, surpassing expectations despite the continuing surge of the delta variant and yet another tropical storm, Ida, affecting East Coast moviegoing.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, who is currently helming Marvel’s Captain Marvel 2, and produced by MGM and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw, Candyman is the spiritual sequel to the 1992 horror of the same name led by Yahya Abdul Mateen II. The movie, which has a budget of $25 million, holds an R-rating and attracted an audience that was over half male and 69 percent of which were in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket. (Males aged 18 to 34 have traditionally been the demographic most likely the head to the box office during in the pandemic.)

But the movie did not fare as well internationally, with Candyman opening in 51 international markets to an expected to gross $5.2 million for a worldwide cume of $27.6 million.

The Ryan Reynolds-starer Fee Guy came in at the No. 2 spot in its third weekend in release. The movie earned $12.7 million over its three-day period, falling only 31 percent. (Last weekend, the movie fell only 34 percent.) Free Guy has earned $78 million at the domestic box office to date and is set for a 45-day exclusive theatrical window before it transitions to home viewing on VOD and streaming. Like Candyman, the movie has attracted males aged 18 to 34.

Coming in third is Paramount’s children’s animation PAW Patrol in its second weekend, taking in $6.6 million over three days for a current domestic cume of $24 million. The movie, which had a day-and-date release and is available free in-home to Paramount+ subscribers, had a dip of 50 percent from its opening weekend.

Elsewhere, Jungle Cruise held the weekend’s fourth spot with $5 million from 3,370 locations, passing $100 million at the domestic box office. The movie, which was released simultaneously in theaters and Disney+’s Premier Access tier, is in its fifth week has earned $187 million at the global box office. No. 5 at the domestic box office is Sony’s horror sequel Don’t Breathe 2  earning $2.8 million for a domestic box office of $24.5 million.

Next up is MGM and UAR’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, fell 40 percent in its third weekend  $2.2 million for a domestic total of $19.7 million, followed by Warner Bros.’ day-and-date release The Suicidie Squad at seventh, with $2 million weekend gross and a domestic cume of $52 million.

In talking THR ahead of this week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, John Fithian, the chief of the National Association of Theatre Owners, offered his thoughts on what a recovery at the box office will look like. Fithian said, “I don’t think there’s a yes or no answer to what is a full recovery. To consistently be grossing every weekend the same kind of box office take we grossed in 2019, I guess, would be kind of a full recovery. We’re not going to get there in 2021, that’s for sure, but maybe in 2022.”

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