Nia DaCosta has made history with the $20.4M opening of Candyman, as the film debuted atop the box office this past weekend.
The remake of the 1992 cult classic opened with an estimated gross of $22,370,000, exceeding its original projection of about $15M by nearly 50 percent. The take, surpassing that of the next three top-grossing films for the week combined (Free Guy, Paw Patrol: The Movie, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, Don’t Breathe 2 and The Suicide Squad) makes DaCosta the first Black female director to debut a movie at No. 1 at the domestic box office.
A record previously held by Ava DuVernay and her film A Wrinkle In Time, which debuted in the No. 2 spot in March of 2018, Candyman also marks the second-highest-grossing three-day weekend opening for a Black female director. The romantic sports drama Love & Basketball, a film written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, also debuted in the second spot after its initial release in 2000.
As reported by Deadline, the top five openings for films at the domestic box office held by Black women directors are A Wrinkle in Time ($33.1M), Candyman ($20.4M), Little ($15.4M, directed by Tina Gordon), The Photograph ($12.1M, directed by Stella Meghie) and Queen & Slim ($11.89M, directed by Melina Matsoukas).
The original film, which was based on “The Forbidden,” a short story by Clive Barker, focused on Chicago’s urban legend about the ghost of a murdered son of a slave who reemerges and goes on a vengeful rampage. Unlike 1992’s Candyman, DaCosta’s version featured a Black creative team and was co-written by Jordan Peele, along with being produced by Monkeypaw.
DaCosta is currently filming the highly anticipated sequel to Captain Marvel, The Marvels. Directing this movie would make her the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Studios picture. The superhero film, starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani, is slated for release on Nov. 11 of next year.