Weekend Wrap Up - a look at this week’s Industry Updates

August 30, 2021

Sweet. Sugar. Candyman has surpassed industry forecasts with $22M opening weekend! The sequel/reboot of the cult classic 1992 film is a certified crowd pleaser (85% FreshB Cinemascore). The fourth film in the Candyman franchise, this new Candyman brings a host of talent lacking in previous summer horror sequels. Tony Todd reprises his role as the Candyman, and stars alongside Yahya Abdul Mateen II (Aquaman, The Trial of the Chicago 7) and Teyonah Paris (Chi-Raq, WandaVision). Candyman marks the first #1 film directed by a Black woman, Director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, The Marvels), who led a creative team including Jordan Peele (Get OutUs). The Universal film will be exclusive to theaters for at least 21 days and can be expected to continue to draw in a large and diverse 18-34 crowd (69% per Deadline).

All in, this weekend’s total is at $62M. In second place, Free Guy is proving to be the movie everyone wants to see before the summer ends. For two weekends in a row, Free Guy has posted above-average holdovers – dropping just -35% in its second weekend, and now just -27% in the third. The Ryan Reynolds film has earned $79M to date. Another film with notable holdovers is Jungle Cruise. Despite being available on Disney Plus Premier Access, the film seems to be popular with walk-ups – dropping just -30% the fourth weekend and now just -21% in the fifth. Exactly 31 days after its release, Jungle Cruise has crossed $100M.

The trend of holding well after the second/third weekend has previously been accomplished by Cruella, A Quiet Place II, F9 and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. In terms of their multiplier from opening weekend – a stat derived by dividing the to-date gross by the opening weekend – both F9 and The Conjuring 3 have been outpacing their predecessors. 

Speaking of outpacing predecessors, Black Widow crossed $181M this weekend – surpassing the domestic grosses of other solo superhero films Thor, Ant-Man, and Captain America: The First Avenger. Inflation aside, this is impressive given that only Black Widow had a pandemic and Disney Plus Premier Access to deal with.

Disney’s stream-at-home option may have slowed Black Widow, but it won’t be a factor for this Friday’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Going into the weekend 91% Fresh and $6.6M in pre-salesShang Chi is pretty much guaranteed to break the record for the largest Labor Day opening weekend ever (yes, even outside the pandemic). It only has to beat the $30.5M 4-day posted by 2007’s Halloween. Industry forecasts are currently in the $35-$55M range – although we believe it will crush those expectations.

Before I wrap up, some highlights from CinemaCon 2021:

  • NATO President & CEO John Fithian highlighted the progress theaters have made since the pandemic: 49 of 50 states have allowed theaters to open at 100% capacity, 80% of moviegoers feel comfortable returning to theaters, and sizeable federal grants & tax relief programs have been offered to theater chains of all sizes.

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