Several big budget blockbusters have flopped at the box office this year as the industry continues to struggle with the effects of the pandemic, but you can always rely on horror to do solid business. Even with the threat of COVID-19 still looming in the background, audiences have consistently leaned into scary content, with candy man the latest to find success.
A Quiet Place Part II and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It both opened at the top of the box office and went on to sail past $200 million globally, while on a lesser scale Don’t Breathe 2 is already close to turning a profit having earned back its $15 million budget twice over in the space of two weeks. People evidently want to be frightened, and the combination of incredibly atmospheric trailers, a recognizable property and Jordan Peele’s name slapped all over the marketing have worked wonders for candy man.
A strong Rotten Tomatoes score of 85% certainly helps, too, with candy man debuting well above projections to $22 million, and having cost just $25 million to produce, the movie will comfortably be in the black by this time next week. Meanwhile, two-week champ Free Guy dropped down to second with a steady $13 million as it continues to assert itself as 2021’s marquee original blockbuster.
While the numbers are comparatively weak when viewed next to literally any other year besides 2020, a first frame in excess of $20 million is undoubtedly a huge win given the standards of the era. High concept horror is a low risk, high reward enterprise that’s guaranteed to put butts in seats, making scary movies the most reliable form of cinema in times of such uncertainty.