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‘Candyman’ Makes History as First Film Directed By Black Woman to Debut No. 1 In U.S. Box Office, Grosses $22.3 Million

“Candyman’s” risky decision to release in theaters despite past movie blunders paid off well for the Jordan Peele -written horror remake of the same name. The Nia DaCosta-directed movie raked in roughly $22,370,000 in its initial domestic weekend, making history by becoming the first film directed by a Black woman to hit No. 1 at the domestic box office.

“Candyman” is also the second-highest-grossing three-day domestic weekend box office opening for a Black female director. The record owned by Ava DuVernay for “A Wrinkle In Time,” which debuted in the No. 2 spot over the weekend of March 9–11, 2018, to $33.1 million.

Nia DaCosta attends The African American Film Critics Association’s 11th Annual AAFCA Awards at Taglyan Cultural Complex on January 22, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

The top five openings for movies at the domestic box office helmed by Black women directors are those mentioned above as well as “Little” by director Tina Goran with $15.4M, “The Photograph” by Stella Meghie with $12.1M, and “Queen & Slim” at $11.89M, directed by Melina Matsoukas.

Last September, the “Little Woods” director announced in a since-deleted Twitter post that the movie would be pushed back from its initial release June 12, 2020, to sometime the following year amid COVID-19 concerns.

The Brooklyn native also noted that “We made Candyman to be seen in theaters. Not just for the spectacle but because the film is about community and stories — how they shape each other, how they shape us. It’s about the collective experience of trauma and joy, suffering and triumph, and the stories we tell around it.”  She added, “We wanted the horror and humanity of Candyman to be experienced in a collective, a community, so we’re pushing Candyman to next year, to ensure that everyone can see the film in theaters and share in that experience.”

DaCosta also made history by becoming the first Black woman to direct a Marvel Studio, the “Captain Marvel” sequel “The Marvels.” Production on this picture is currently underway. The superhero action film is scheduled to be released on Nov. 11, 2022.

“Candyman,” starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Tony Todd, and Vanessa Estell Williams, is out in theaters now. 

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