Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Candyman as Anthony McCoy

It’s not been your average summer box office season, to say the least, but one thing has continued to ring true: it’s a good time to be a horror movie. A Quiet Place: Part II helped open up the box office up again with a huge debut in May, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It made some great money in June even with the day-and-date streaming option. As we look the now-released Candyman, it seems to have an eventful weekend ahead.

Candyman is the long-awaited “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 movie of the same name, which stars Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, WandaVision’s Teyonah Parris and Zola’s Colman Domingo. Coming off the film’s overwhelmingly positive reviews, it's time for the horror movie to brave the box office. Per its Thursday night opening results, it pulled in $1.9 million domestically in 2,750 theaters at screenings beginning at 7 pm. So quite a few people have already said Candyman’s name in a theatrical setting.

Deadline shared the number as the movie heads into its first weekend and it could reportedly signal that Candyman is about to perform over projections. The movie produced by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta has been expected to make a modest $15 million on opening weekend, but the $1.9 million is an early sign that it could surpass expectations and become this weekend’s No. 1. Box Office Mojo, for example, has Candyman topping the charts with a $20 million forecast.

It helps that Candyman is an exclusive-to-theaters release, along with being the only major new movie coming to big screens this weekend. Its main competition is Free Guy, which opened two weeks ago, retained its No. 1 spot last weekend and could benefit from the positive word of mouth out there about it. Free Guy is also an exclusive theatrical release with great reviews from critics and audiences. It sounds like Candyman’s opening weekend could be comparable to Free Guy’s $18.7 million.

An interesting tidbit that is reportedly helping certain movies succeed is a key demographic of moviegoers who are the most comfortable getting out and seeing a movie in theaters right now. Men between the ages of 17 to 34 is the big audience that are said to be driving successes as of late, which is more good news for an R-rated horror movie like Candyman.

Interestingly enough, this Thursday opening closely beats out Get Out, which made $1.8 million back in 2017 before making $33.3 million during its first weekend. Its opening night was also compared to 2016’s Don’t Breathe, which had a similar number its first Thursday before scoring $26 million.

The production budget of Candyman has not been reported, but horror movies like these are generally less expensive to make (2019’s Us, made by the same company, Monkeypaw Productions, cost $20 million). This makes a solid opening weekend a bigger success than a film like Free Guy, which was produced for a reported $100 million. Check back here on CinemaBlend to see how the weekend shook out, and see Candyman in theaters now.

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