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‘Candyman’ Leads Box Office as ‘Jungle Cruise’ Nears $100 Million

Universal horror film is on pace for a $20 million opening weekend

Universal/MGM’s “Candyman” is leading the box office on this final August weekend, earning $9.1 million from 3,569 screens on Friday. The revival of the ’90s horror series is now estimated to earn a $20 million opening, beating pre-release projections for a $15 million start.

Directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele, “Candyman” has been well-received by critics and audiences with a B on CinemaScore, along with a 85% critics score and 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was produced on a reported $25 million budget.

In fourth on the weekend charts is Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” which will become the fifth post-shutdown film to gross $100 million in North America by Monday at the latest. The Dwayne Johnson-Emily Blunt adventure film is currently estimated to earn $4.5 million in its fifth weekend, giving it a total of $99.6 million.

Despite being released day-and-date as a premium title on Disney+ and taking a $35 million opening last month, “Jungle Cruise” has legged out at the late summer box office in a way that many other day-and-date releases have not. The film joins “A Quiet Place — Part II,” “F9,” “Black Widow” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” films that either had theatrical exclusivity or higher opening weekend totals.

Elsewhere in the Top 5, 20th Century Studios’ “Free Guy” is second with $12.7 million, giving it a total of $78.4 million after three weekends. The original comedy starring Ryan Reynolds was championed by exhibitors at CinemaCon this past week as evidence of the importance of theatrical exclusivity for movie releases at a time when films like “Black Widow” and “The Suicide Squad” have been released day-and-date.

Paramount’s “Paw Patrol: The Movie” is in third with $6.5 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $24 million, while Sony/Screen Gems’ “Don’t Breathe 2” sits below “Jungle Cruise” in fifth with $2.5 million and a total of $24.2 million after three weekends