Candyman director Nia DaCosta has made history by becoming the first black woman to have a film open at number one on the North American box office chart.
The director’s reimagining of the 1992 horror made $22m (£16m) in its first weekend in US and Canadian cinemas. That is almost as much as the film – co-written and produced by Get Out’s Jordan Peele – actually cost to make. Based on a Clive Barker story, the film is named after a hook-handed killer who has spawned a fearsome urban legend.
The new film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as a visual artist who comes to regret basing an exhibit on the Candyman myth.
DaCosta only had one feature credit, 2018’s Little Woods, when she was invited to direct the latest instalment in the horror franchise.
Box office analysts said Candyman surpassed their expectations for an R-rated film opening in the Covid-19 era. It performed better than had been expected even with Hurricane Ida depressing attendance in some southern US states. Candyman also bucked a recent trend by launching only in cinemas, without a simultaneous release on streaming sites.
It also doesn’t hurt that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is absolutely gorgeous.
It’s annoying that it’s 2021 and we’re still saying “The First Black ______” but nevertheless, I’m super proud of Nia and team!