Candyman Takes Top Spot At Weekend Box Office With $22 Million Debut

Horror film remake "Candyman" took the top spot at the weekend box office, knocking Walt Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) "Free Guy" into second place after it topped ticket sales for the past two weeks.

Candyman, whose release was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, earned $22.4 million U.S. in North American theatres, slightly better than the $20 million U.S. that had been expected by industry analysts.

Two of the top three films, including "Candyman," premiered exclusively in theaters, helping to boost sales. At a theater industry conference last week, cinema executives complained about the strategy of studios, employed to survive the pandemic, in which they debut new movies online and in theatres at the same time.

The movie industry is headed toward a $4 billion U.S. year, according to industry estimates. That’s a big improvement from 2020, when studios and cinemas made about half as much, but shows how uneven the recovery has been. The movie industry is still running about 65% below where it was in 2019 before the pandemic.

"Candyman" is a remake of the 1992 horror film of the same name. Its about a painter that becomes obsessed with the legend of a supernatural murderer. Its release was delayed three times due to the pandemic.

"Free Guy" made $13.6 million U.S. in its third weekend of release. "Paw Patrol," based on the kids’ television series, took in $6.6 million U.S. at North American theatres.