The new Universal Pictures horror movie is the new top film in the U.S. and Canada earning just over $22 Million in its first weekend in theaters. Nia DaCosta’s Candyman blew out the lowball projection of $15 million.
Nia DaCosta has broken new ground for Black women in Hollywood.
Although some have come close opening in 2nd place, Nia DaCosta makes Candyman the first #1 film from a Black female director. Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “A Wrinkle in Time”) and Gina Prince-Blythewood (“Love and Basketball”), all had #2 weekend openings.
Universal believed it would attract Black viewers with the same pedigree of Get Out and Us. However, the appeal was more diverse. Per Universal studio’s audience survey, 37 percent of the audience was Black, 30 percent was white, Latinos 22 percent, and Asians 5 percent. That spread in diversity was key to reaching the higher number.
The original film, which was based on a short story by Clive Barker, focused on an urban legend about the ghost of a murdered son of a slave who reappears and goes on a murderous rampage.
The new version, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, still explores the urban legend that says if someone repeats “Candyman” five times in front of a mirror, that person would summon the hook-handed killer. However unlike 1992’s, this Candyman includes a Black creative team of writers and producers including Jordan Peele.