Weekend Box Office

Weekend Box Office Results: Candyman Hooks $22.4 Million Opening Weekend, Slashing Through Expectations

Nia DaCosta's horror sequel is a hit, Jungle Cruise crosses $100 million, and Free Guy continues its strong run on the weekend of August 27-29, 2021.

by | August 29, 2021 | Comments

“Nobody knows anything” is the old adage when it comes to the film industry and variations of that sentiment have often applied to the reporting of box office – though maybe not quite as much as it has in the past six months. The numbers in recent weeks, and particularly this week, indicate a level of normalcy could be coming back to the box office in some respects – especially with Universal’s horror release Candyman over-performing expectations.


King of the Crop: Candyman‘s Sweet Weekend A Late-Summer Sign of Hope

Candyman

(Photo by Parrish Lewis / Universal Pictures and MGM Studios)

This week saw the opening Nia DaCosta’s long-awaited reboot/sequel to Bernard Rose’s 1992 Candyman. That original film is Certified Fresh at 76% on the Tomatometer, made $25.7 million at the box office at the time of its release, and spawned one theatrical sequel, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh ($13.9 million/26% on the Tomatometer) and a direct-to-video sequel, Candyman: Day of the Dead (9% on the Tomatometer). That was from 1992-1999.

Nowadays, we can generally determine the potential of a film’s opening weekend based on its Thursday-night preview gross. In this case, DaCosta’s Candyman began with a respectable $1.9 million last Thursday night, a number that lined up with a number of other horror films’ performances. Here is a list of some of them with their Thursday-night and opening weekend grosses.

  • Annabelle ($2.1 million Thursday night / $37.1 million opening weekend)
  • The Devil Inside ($2 million / $33.7 million)
  • Split ($2 million / $40 million)
  • Insidious: The Last Key ($2 million / $29.5 million)
  • Don’t Breathe ($1.87 million / $26.4 million)
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane ($1.8 million / $24.7 million)
  • Evil Dead (2013) ($1.8 million / $25.7 million)
  • The Grudge (2020) ($1.8 million / $11.4 million)
  • Get Out ($1.8 million / $33.3 million)
  • Lights Out ($1.8 million / $21.6 million)
  • Saw 3D ($1.7 million / $22.5 million)
  • Child’s Play (2019) ($1.65 million / $14 million)
  • The Invisible Man (2020) ($1.65 million / $28.2 million)
  • Jigsaw ($1.6 million / $16.6 million)
  • Insidious Chapter 3 ($1.55 million / $22.6 million)

That is roughly an average of a $25.8 million opening weekend for these 15 films that opened between $1.55 million and $2.1 million in previews. Not to be found on that list, of course, is any film to open during the pandemic; The Invisible Man is the closest film we have to that and it opened less than two weeks before things truly started shutting down. Thursday-night previews began coming back in April and have come back more full-time since Memorial Day weekend. In that time we have seen Old start with $1.5 million and open with $16.8 million and other horror films bringing in smaller numbers such as The Forever Purge ($1.33 million/$12.5 million), Escape Room: Tournament of Champions ($1.2 million/$8.8 million), and Don’t Breathe 2 ($965,000/$10.6 million).

Candyman, which like all of those films is a theatrical exclusive, bested all of them on Thursday and found itself with a $22.4 million opening weekend. That puts it more in line with the general average we had seen for horror movies prior to the pandemic. Certainly, this is also a one-off that is benefiting from significant name recognition, as did A Quiet Place Part II and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (which, even with HBO Max status, began with $24.1 million), so even the science of numbers suggests we have to wait for more patterns to emerge. Between this strong late-summer start and the continuing success of Free Guy, we may not be back to full pre-pandemic strength but the numbers do not appear to be going in the wrong direction either.


The Top 10 And Beyond: The Free Guy Success Story Continues As Jungle Cruise Crosses $100 Million

Free Guy continues to be one of the most positive stories of the summer box office. It dropped just 27% this weekend, earning another $13.6 million. How positive is that? It is only the best third-weekend of any film during the pandemic, ahead of A Quiet Place Part II ($12 million), Black Widow ($11.6 million), and F9 ($11.4 million). Free Guy is not going to approach the loftier grosses of those movies and still trails the pace of Jungle Cruise by about $3.5 million overall. But its third weekend bested Cruise’s ($9.1 million) and that film just crossed the $100 million line after making $5 million this weekend. (That itself the second-best fifth weekend behind A Quiet Place Part II ($6.1 million) and ahead of F9 ($4.8 million)). Free Guy may take a bigger hit with Shang-Chi opening next weekend, but with $79.3 million in the coffers so far, it should remain ahead of Godzilla vs. Kong’s pace this week and remain on track to cross $100 million. Its global total stands at $179 million.

Last week’s minor breakout success, Paw Patrol: The Movie, fell back 50% and brought in another $6.6 million this weekend. How does that stack up with fellow kids’ movies also streaming during their theatrical runs? There’s HBO Max’s Space Jam: A New Legacy (fell 69.1% down to $9.5 million in its second weekend) and Tom & Jerry (fell 53.9% to $6.5 million), as well as Peacock’s The Boss Baby: Family Business (fell 44% down to $8.8 million). Peter Rabbit 2, a theatrical exclusive, dropped 39% to $6 million in its second weekend. Paw Patrol’s 10-day haul of $24.1 million puts it ahead of Tom & Jerry’s $22.8 million, but it will likely fall short of the March release’s $46 million total.


On The Vine: Shang-Chi Offers a Test for Theatrical Exclusives 

The all-time best Labor Day weekend is about to become another of Disney’s conquests as Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens. The film will be the first of Disney’s slate not made available with Premier Access on Disney+ since the pandemic began. Though, even with theatrical exclusivity, Shang-Chi is unlikely to beat Black Widow’s current total of $180 million, even though it could top the box office for three-to-five weeks straight.


Full List of Box Office Results: August 27-29, 2021


  • $22.4 million ($22.4 million total)

  • $13.6 million ($79.3 million total)

  • $6.6 million ($24.1 million total)

  • $5 million ($100.1 million total)

  • $2.8 million ($24.6 million total)

  • $2.1 million ($19.6 million total)

  • $2 million ($52.8 million total)

  • $1.7 million ($5.7 million total)

  • $1.2 million ($5.2 million total)

  • $855,000 million ($181.5 million total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Legendary Walt Disney Pictures kong TV toy story MCU Cosplay Tomatazos Dark Horse Comics Universal Pictures Family DC streaming service Premiere Dates dragons Hulu movie ITV genre 24 frames Spike VH1 Calendar romance TCA Winter 2020 USA Network Pride Month lord of the rings crime Superheroe Superheroes Freeform Lionsgate remakes Lifetime Christmas movies BET Trivia stand-up comedy cooking international revenge LGBTQ Infographic unscripted psychological thriller Bravo supernatural Nominations batman cinemax Teen Showtime emmy awards binge series 4/20 Valentine's Day cancelled TV shows PaleyFest Masterpiece Writers Guild of America Rom-Com Sundance Now FX parents FX on Hulu adaptation science fiction Disney Plus Marvel Television The Arrangement dark SXSW Comics on TV facebook justice league Turner Classic Movies Mary Tyler Moore OneApp cartoon Mudbound live action American Society of Cinematographers Sundance TV space Emmy Nominations See It Skip It Television Academy Tumblr boxoffice television Crackle IMDb TV ESPN A&E superhero Thanksgiving streaming diversity Election FXX CMT women fast and furious basketball live event joker festivals legend 93rd Oscars comiccon talk show suspense Turner technology Tubi Christmas docudrama scary movies President politics Rock christmas movies WGN Acorn TV rotten movies we love hispanic Warner Bros. Box Office NBA Universal Podcast target Britbox MSNBC ratings doctor who SDCC BAFTA adventure Apple TV+ italian japan 21st Century Fox Fantasy ABC Family tv talk indiana jones concert Paramount Plus Film cults The Purge hidden camera Women's History Month animated TCM video on demand anthology strong female leads GLAAD cancelled game of thrones 99% Oscars toronto Starz MTV Star Trek spain sports indie spanish mcc documentaries TV Land crime drama latino art house Elton John Food Network wonder woman zombies cancelled television Hallmark Christmas movies what to watch casting slashers superman Fox News Video Games Ghostbusters Sundance new york free movies Peacock Mindy Kaling nfl Instagram Live sequel Mystery Animation obituary die hard Captain marvel ID Schedule Set visit robots HBO Heroines cars prank cats renewed TV shows news book marvel comics Classic Film travel Lifetime Adult Swim action-comedy Certified Fresh composers Winter TV elevated horror Amazon disaster blaxploitation TBS SundanceTV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina award winner GoT Baby Yoda Academy Awards The Academy venice laika heist movie trailers YouTube Red Alien comics rt labs critics edition Pop debate hispanic heritage month worst ABC Signature olympics Reality Competition video Comedy Central YouTube Premium halloween FOX mission: impossible TCA 2017 sitcom The CW asian-american stop motion rom-coms dc 71st Emmy Awards dogs Stephen King TV renewals blockbusters game show Action DC Comics Disney streaming service Pirates AMC History 007 CBS Toys NYCC RT History jurassic park Mary poppins hist Comedy Music Reality Ellie Kemper Apple canceled TV shows ABC universal monsters Cannes Biopics kaiju Kids & Family Nat Geo Image Comics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt blockbuster discovery IFC Spectrum Originals Fox Searchlight cops Vudu a nightmare on elm street San Diego Comic-Con thriller Rocketman spider-man BBC vs. Tokyo Olympics Shudder dreamworks Year in Review Drama versus Countdown Travel Channel Polls and Games zero dark thirty dramedy spinoff Ovation sopranos Pacific Islander twilight RT21 independent Cartoon Network classics Awards The Walt Disney Company Mary Poppins Returns slasher The Walking Dead Chernobyl child's play comic book movie Song of Ice and Fire archives Marathons best APB GIFs popular VICE TNT marvel cinematic universe 90s deadpool adenture golden globe awards new zealand james bond movies CNN Western El Rey documentary directors comic book movies finale cancelled TV series theme song richard e. Grant transformers Musical Hallmark reviews 2021 breaking bad biopic PlayStation TV movies spanish language mockumentary Character Guide Grammys YA ViacomCBS BET Awards Avengers black comedy streaming movies gangster screenings E! YouTube true crime Epix TruTV satire NBC X-Men A24 Nickelodeon Hear Us Out fresh nature Comic Book dexter Pet Sematary Crunchyroll Neflix Arrowverse Television Critics Association TIFF screen actors guild rt labs spy thriller Star Wars TCA Awards reboot docuseries TLC critic resources Horror USA 2019 Endgame 2016 Spring TV period drama godzilla The Witch vampires criterion Winners Fall TV Apple TV Plus posters australia Sneak Peek Photos HBO Max Funimation stoner book adaptation razzies mutant foreign E3 Pixar Disney Channel dceu young adult BBC One crime thriller CW Seed golden globes all-time biography zombie political drama Country comic romantic comedy quibi Comic-Con@Home 2021 Esquire natural history worst movies psycho south america Watching Series french aapi miniseries HBO Go teaser jamie lee curtis chucky Pop TV telelvision Netflix Christmas movies children's TV comedies Sony Pictures Brie Larson kids Sci-Fi black police drama Best and Worst Black History Month 72 Emmy Awards OWN Logo Marvel Studios serial killer Anna Paquin Amazon Prime Netflix First Reviews Exclusive Video mob 20th Century Fox Marvel 73rd Emmy Awards Opinion Disney+ Disney Plus Trailer scene in color royal family war 45 IFC Films Awards Tour nbcuniversal critics Black Mirror Wes Anderson social media Musicals new star wars movies aliens Amazon Studios Paramount boxing Disney Tarantino Lucasfilm sequels LGBT scary Binge Guide PBS football pirates of the caribbean witnail films Summer ghosts king kong Red Carpet hollywood Discovery Channel monster movies 2015 spider-verse National Geographic know your critic Amazon Prime Video 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards AMC Plus sag awards VOD Extras DGA based on movie comic books harry potter japanese medical drama Martial Arts saw singing competition 1990s Syfy rotten 2020 Shondaland Emmys Paramount Network DC Universe canceled Trophy Talk scorecard BBC America Columbia Pictures werewolf TV One king arthur Rocky Creative Arts Emmys festival high school Broadway 2017 First Look WarnerMedia Quiz TCA green book Holidays name the review franchise feel good crossover 2018 Holiday New York Comic Con Super Bowl rt archives anime DirecTV halloween tv Interview historical drama Film Festival CBS All Access