New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

‘Candyman’ slashes way toward No. 1 box office spot

- Photos and text from wire services

LOS ANGELES — “Candyman” hooked the top spot at the North American box office.

The Universal Pictures film starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II impressive­ly pulled in more than $22.3 million through a quiet weekend despite concerns over the delta variant. The R-rated horror movie, co-written by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta, delves into an urban legend that believes if someone repeats “Candyman” five times in front of a mirror, that person would summon the hook-handed killer.

The sequel is a follow up to the original “Candyman” in 1992. The new film expects to gross $5.23 million in 51 internatio­nal markets.

“It was a quiet weekend, but it was another check mark in the success column for horror,” Paul Dergarabed­ian, the senior media analyst for Comscore, said.

“Candyman” claimed No. 1 over second place “Free Guy,” which scored first place at the box office the previous two weekends. The action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a background character in a video game, earned more than $13.5 million.

After “Free Guy,” the numbers begin to substantia­lly drop.

Dergarabed­ian said consumers are being very selective in what they do outside of their homes, particular­ly when it comes to heading into theaters.

“When you have brand new movies, if they are of a genre that people love like horror or have star like Ryan Reynolds and a movie that’s perceived to be great, people want to go out to see them,” he said. “The other films that are either available on streaming and/or not getting the greatest buzz or reviews are going to drop by the wayside. It’s just the nature of this marketplac­e.”

In third place, “PAW Patrol” reeled in $6.6 million — a 50% dip from the film’s opening weekend number. The Paramount

film, based on the popular kids TV show, has garnered more than $24 million.

“Jungle Cruise” placed fourth with $5 million, helping the Disney action-adventure film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt eclipse the $100 million mark in North America during a fiveweek span.

“Don’t Breathe 2” earned $2.8 million, “Respect” starring Jennifer Hudson brought in $2.2 million and “The Suicide Squad” tallied just over $2 million.

Meanwhile, “The Protege” with Michael Keaton and Maggie Q pulled in $1.6 million and “The Night House” had $1.2 million.

“Black Widow” barely held onto the 10th spot with $855,000. In eight weeks, the Marvel film starring Scarlett Johansson has accumulate­d more than $181.5 million in North America.

1. “Candyman,” $22.3 million ($5.2 million internatio­nal).

2. “Free Guy,” $13.5 million ($37.3 million internatio­nal).

3. “PAW Patrol,” $6.6 million ($10.3 million internatio­nal).

4. “Jungle Cruise,” $5 million ($2.7 million internatio­nal).

5. “Don’t Breathe 2,” $2.8 million ($1.6 million internatio­nal).

6. “Respect,” $2.2 million.

7. “The Suicide Squad,” $2 million ($4.6 million internatio­nal).

8. “The Protege,” $1,6 million.

9. “The Night House,” $1.2 million.

10. “Black Widow,” $855,000.

 ?? Parrish Lewis / Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures ?? Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in “Candyman.”
Parrish Lewis / Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in “Candyman.”

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