This weekend’s box office is marked by an impressive pandemic performance with 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, 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 Jordan Peele, 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 and earning $78 million at the domestic box office to date.
Elsewhere, in its second weekend was Paramount’s children’s animation PAW Patrol, 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.
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.”
More to come.