Congratulations are in order for film director Nia DaCosta who has become the first Black woman to top box office charts at number one with the debut of her remake of the 1992 horror classic Candyman. According to Complex, the film officially topped the box office this weekend grossing $22.3 million after it was released. Complex projected that the film would originally debut around $15-$21 million during its opening weekend, but it has significantly surpassed those projections.
DaCosta’s sequel to the cult classic follows the story of an artist named Anthony McCoy played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who becomes obsessed with the supernatural killer. Yahya spoke to Variety on what it was like working alongside DaCosta to bring the horror film back to life.
“First, I had a conversation with Jordan Peele, [ producer and co-writer of “Candyman”] he explained.”‘Hey, I’m doing ‘Candyman,’ and I want you to be a part of it. But I want you to talk to Nia.’ Because [she] was going to be at the helm of it. I had known the type of work that he wanted to do just from my experiences with working with him on ‘Us.’
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“But when he introduced me to Nia, we didn’t even talk about ‘Candyman,” Yahya continued. “We talked about filmmaking. We talked about drama school, we talked about acting, we talked about some of her favorite films. She told me how she wanted to make the movie — she referenced ‘The Fly,’ ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ and a couple of other films, and I said, ‘This woman has class and she has taste and she’s really, really smart.’ She was somebody who I knew that I could entrust my talents with and that she would take care of me. And that was definitely my experience from start to finish.”
There have only been two other Black female directors who have come close to scoring the number one spot and that includes Ava DuVernay who broke box office charts with “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time,” as well as Gina Prince Blythewood who directed “Love and Basketball.” Both directors opened in second place.
Indie Wire notes that the box-office smash was attributed to the success of the original film which was based on the scary short story by Clive Barker. The original tale follows an urban legend about the ghost of a murdered son of a slave who comes back from the dead to terrorize and kill people. Horror mastermind Jordan Peele, who also lent a hand in making the film, sparked fans’ curiosity on what he would bring to the story given the success of both Us and Get Out. The report adds that 37 percent of the audience members who showed up to theaters for the film’s debut were Black while 30 percent were White, 22 percent were Latino and 5 percent were Asian.
Congrats To Nia DaCosta on this historic win!