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Candyman Director Makes History

It's the first film to debut at No. 1 for a Black female director
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 1:46 AM CDT
Candyman Director Makes History
This image released by Universal Pictures director Nia DaCosta, left, with actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on the set of "Candyman."   (Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures and MGM Pictures via AP)

(Newser) Candyman debuted in the No. 1 spot for the domestic box office, making it the first film directed by a Black woman to do so. Director Nia DaCosta, 31, also now has the second highest-grossing three-day domestic box office opening for a Black female director, People reports. The top spot for that record is held by Ava DuVernay's 2018 A Wrinkle in Time. Jordan Peele, who co-wrote the film with DaCosta and Win Rosenfeld, calls it a "spiritual sequel" to the 1992 horror classic, which, as Rotten Tomatoes notes, marked "the arrival of the first Black 'boogeyman' to appear on the big screen." The outlet talks to Vanessa Estelle Williams, one of two actors to appear in both films, about how they both address the "racial violence America was built upon."

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In an opinion piece at MSNBC, Patrice Peck writes that while the film disappointed her, "Black people still need it." Candyman is said to be the ghost of a Black man who was lynched for falling in love with a white woman, and as CNN explains, the new movie expands on that myth: "Instead of just one ghost, the legend is actually many innocent Black lives that were violently killed over time. ... In revisiting the franchise, DaCosta investigates Candyman as a system of inequality and the consequent phenomena of gentrification." While there were two sequels to the original film, this is the first Candyman film with all Black leads. (Read more box office stories.)

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