Wednesday, June 07, 2023

‘Candyman’ Towers Over Box Office With Impressive $22 Million Debut

Candyman” was summoned to the top of domestic box office charts, collecting an impressive $22.37 million in its first three days of release.

The R-rated slasher film, written by Jordan Peele and directed by “Captain Marvel 2” filmmaker Nia DaCosta, surpassed industry expectations despite fears the delta variant would keep people from going to the movies. Though multiplexes have struggled to sustain momentum as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, Hollywood has witnessed that new films available only in theaters (such as “Candyman” and last weekend’s champ “Free Guy”) have been seeing ticket sales hold steady compared to tentpoles being offered simultaneously on streaming services (like “The Suicide Squad” and Hugh Jackman’s “Reminiscence”).

“Candyman” cost $25 million to produce — MGM financed and produced the film, while Universal handled marketing and distribution — and appears on track to become one of the rare pandemic-era releases to become profitable during its theatrical run.

Overseas, “Candyman” had a slower start, opening in 51 international markets and pocketing $5.23 million for a global tally of $27.6 million.

In recent weeks, new releases like “Candyman,” the Ryan Reynolds-led “Free Guy,” and Paramount’s animated adventure “PAW Patrol” sold more movie tickets than expected, yet the overall box office is pacing roughly 50% behind the same period in 2019.

“Vaccinations are picking up, but not fast enough to make a difference yet,” says David A. Gross, who runs consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research. “For now, it’s impressive that moviegoing is holding up as well as it is.”

In second place on domestic box office charts, Disney and 20th Century’s “Free Guy” declined a mere 31% in its third weekend in theaters and added $12.7 million from 3,940 venues. The sci-fi comedy adventure, which held the No. 1 spot for two weekends in a row, has generated $78 million to date.

In a distant third, “PAW Patrol” dipped 50% from its opening weekend and brought in $6.6 million from 3,189 locations. So far, the movie, based on the popular kids TV show, has amassed $24 million in the U.S. and Canada.

More to come…


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