After several weeks of dire box office results, last weekend resulted a little bit of good news for movie theaters. A film actually exceeded financial expectations for a change, with Candyman becoming the #1 film in the United States with an estimated $22.3 million in ticket sales. Those are solid numbers for an R-rated horror film released in August, particularly in the age of Covid. (The film was anticipated to earn around $15 million.) Its sales were likely boosted by some very effective trailers, good reviews, the Candyman franchise name, and the fact that popular horror filmmaker Jordan Peele was involved as writer and producer.

Peele didn’t direct Candyman, though; that honor belonged to Nia DaCosta. As a result, she is now the first Black female director in history to make a movie that topped the weekend box office chart. Here’s the rest of the top five movies of the weekend in U.S. theaters, via Box Office Mojo:

  1. Candyman - $22.3 million
  2. Free Guy - $13.5 million
  3. Paw Patrol: The Movie - $6.6 million
  4. Jungle Cruise - $5.0 million
  5. Don’t Breathe 2 - $2.8 million

Free Guy had a pretty solid second weekend in theaters as well, dropping only 26 percent from last week. (Black Widow, for sake of comparison, dropped 67 percent from its first to second weekend earlier this summer.) Candyman and Free Guy are both playing only in theaters, while Black Widow was available on streaming. (So are Paw Patrol: The Movie and Jungle Cruise.) That may not be a coincidence, and will surely be touted as evidence that streaming movies at home simultaneously with films’ theatrical run is having a significant negative impact on their box-office totals.

Candyman ends on a note that definitely leaves room for a sequel, and with ticket sales like this, we may very well get one. It could be tough to get DaCosta back to direct it, however. She’s already working on her next project, The Marvels starring Brie Larson.

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