Supernatural slasher film Candyman killed the competition at the domestic box office, and pocketed $22.3 million for a first place finish.
Directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by Jordan Peele, the MGM/Universal release debuted in 3,569 locations for a per theater average of $6,268, according to Comscore.
A sequel to a 1992 horror film by the same name, Candyman returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.
Related Story: Jacob Latimore Lands Starring Role in ‘House Party’ Remake
The new film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Colman Domingo. Reprising their roles from the original movie are Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen and Vanessa Williams.
Initially scheduled to open last summer, the sequel was delayed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many of the blockbusters that have debuted simultaneously on streaming services during the coronavirus crisis, Candyman premiered exclusively in theaters.
Produced for a reported $25 million, the film had been expected to open in the $15 million range, yet surpassed expectations.
Elsewhere, last week’s leader’s 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy slipped to second place. The action film starring Ryan Reynolds rang up another $13.5 million in its third weekend in theaters, for a domestic total of $79.3 million.
Paramount’s Paw Patrol, based on a Canadian television series, landed in third place with $6.6 million. The family film is also available on the Paramount+ streaming service.
Jungle Cruise continued to sail along for a fourth place finish with $5 million. After five weeks, the Disney film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt passed the $100 million mark this weekend.
Don’t Breathe 2 rounded out the top five with $2.84 million Friday through Sunday.
Also worth noting, Respect slid to sixth place with $2.2 million for a three-weekend total of $19.7 million. The film opened nationwide on Aug. 13, but after a lackluster performance in theaters, the Aretha Franklin biopic moved to streaming services this weekend. The MGM release is now available on Amazon Prime Video for $19.99, and is also streaming on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube and other rental services.