Universal/MGM/Monkeypaw’s reimagination of cult classic horror movie Candyman posted $1.9M on Thursday from 2750 theaters off shows that began at 7PM. The pic, in a recent rare feat for horror pics, has an 86% certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Interestingly enough, another critically acclaimed horror release that played the late August period in 2016 off an 88% certified fresh RT, Don’t Breathe, turned into a $26.4M opening and ultimate $89.2M final domestic; a nice sleeper to tee off the fall. Candyman‘s Thursday night beats that of Don’t Breathe‘s which was $1.875M.
The movie is set to gross in the mid-teens, however there’s the feeling that this Jordan Peele produced and co-scripted movie with director Nia DaCosta can overperform, and after Free Guy‘s hold, it’s another vibrant sign for a box office that’s looking to return to some normalcy. Males between 17-34 are the prime demo here, and well, that’s who’s been unafraid to head to the cinema during the pandemic.
The R-rated pic will play in 3,569 theaters today, and it’s the weekend’s only wide release. Uni held this for a theatrical release during the pandemic, but I also hear that the co-production with MGM here prevented the title from going on day-and-date streaming or PVOD.
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Candyman beats other summer pandemic Thursday night previews for horror fare including: Uni/Blumhouse’s The Forever Purge which did $1.33M heading into July 4th weekend. That turned out to be a $5.7M opening day and $12.5M weekend opening. Also, Sony’s Escape Room: Tournament of Champions which posted $1.2M and the studio’s Don’t Breathe 2 which posted $965K on their first Thursdays. Escape Room 2 posted a $3.8M Friday, $8.8M opening weekend and current running domestic of $25.1M. Don’t Breathe 2 did $4.39M on its opening Friday, $10.6M over its opening weekend and $21.7M running total through its first two weeks.
Again, we compare to pre-pandemic grosses so we can see how much we are above water: Candyman‘s Thursday night bests Get Out‘s $1.8M Thursday (granted that pic became a social phenomenon heading to $33.3M debut).
The first Candyman opened over Oct. 16-18, 1992 earning $5.4M at 1,251 theaters, finaling at $25.8M domestic. The sequel Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh opened to $6M at 1,605 theaters over March 17-19, 1995 and ultimately grossing $13.9M.
Among other titles in release, Disney/20th Century Studio’s Free Guy did $1.56M yesterday, -5% from Wednesday sending its total over two weeks to $65.7M. Paramount/Spin Master’s Paw Patrol was second with $875K, -4% from Wednesday for a first week’s take of $17.4M. Disney’s Jungle Cruise posted $550K, -1% from yesterday, with a four week running total of $95M. Don’t Breathe 2 grossed $401K, -20% from Wednesday. MGM/UAR’s Respect was fifth on Thursday with $376K, -9%, and a running two week domestic gross of $17.4M.