“Candyman” Summons $22 Million Opening


August 27-29, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Candyman  $22.3 million
Free Guy $13.5 million
PAW Patrol $6.6 million
Jungle Cruise $5 million
Don't Breathe 2  $2.8 million

Candyman took the top spot at the box office amidst polarizing reviews and increased concern about public safety, as COVID cases continue to rise and parts of the Gulf Coast prepared for a terrifying hurricane. The Nia DaCosta-directed sequel earned an estimated $22.3 million. That was far and away the best performance of the weekend, and one of the biggest debuts ever for a movie directed by a Black woman.

The horror flick pushed last week's top eight films down one spot each. Free Guy continued to hold strong in its third weekend. The Ryan Reynolds action comedy earned another $13.5 million to reach a cumulative gross of nearly $80 million so far. PAW Patrol: The Movie continued to play in theaters and on Paramount+, rounding up $6.6 million.

Jungle Cruise finally crossed $100 million, becoming the fourth film of the year to do so. Don't Breathe 2 marked its third weekend in the top 5, but brought in less than $3 million. Expect a similar situation next weekend when Shang-Chi is the only new wide release.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Mexican animated film An Egg Rescue averaged a runny $1,343 on 320 screens.
  • Yet another shot-during-COVID romantic comedy dropped, though Universal opted to put it in theaters instead of on streaming. Together featured the delightful James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan, but barely scrounged up $100,000. That would be impressive were it playing on 10 times fewer screens.
  • The Green Knight has officially become one of A24's 10 biggest films ever, having earned more than $16 million.

Next week:

Labor Day Weekend used to be a total dead zone on the calendar. There were rarely any major releases, and if they were, they were distressed assets studios were just trying to get out the door. This will be different. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will absolutely obliterate the previous record for this weekend, set by Rob Zombie's Halloween remake from 2007. Expect an opening anywhere from $50-60 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.