Nia DaCosta’s Candyman reboot has now been indefinitely delayed to 2021. The Jordan Peele produced project, based on the short story by Clive Barker, has received its third delay. This news follows Warner Brothers’ announcement that Wonder Woman 1984 will not be released on October 2nd as well. Warner will try again with Wonder Woman at Christmas.
Candyman was originally due back on June 12, but with the closing of theaters, it was postponed twice. Universal decided to push 2018’s Halloween follow-up, Halloween Kills, from October 16, 2020 to October 15, 2021. This opened the October 16 date to Candyman, leaving it to rule the season. Now, the Yahya Abdul-Marteen II helmed reboot sits in limbo. Like many films slated to see theatrical releases this year, it is struggling to find a new date for release.
The Candyman reboot is said to be a sequel to the original 1992 film of the same name, this time taking place in a gentrified, modern Chicago. The Cabrini–Green homes have now been torn down, but the hook wielding slasher, Tony Todd reprising the role, finds a way back to the neighborhood. There an artist (Abdul-Marteen II) and his girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) will slowly be driven insane as the legend of Candyman continues.
This past week, Tenet TV promos attempted to entice viewers by making them aware that “movies are back!” Tenet opened this past Labor Day weekend to weak domestic numbers of $20 million dollars. The $200 million dollar Christopher Nolan project starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson totaled $146 million worldwide. These numbers are unheard of for what was to be a Warner Brothers slam dunk blockbuster mega-hit.
Tenet will end up making its money back worldwide. However, this is the type of movie that has a studio expectation attached. This is a film that was expected to take a $200 million investment and turn it into over a billion. It stands to reason that Warner would protect the release of Wonder Woman 1984 against suffering a similar profit loss. It would seem that movies are not back, mister TV voice-over man.
According to Variety, Warner Brothers was “waiting to assess domestic ticket sales for Tenet before making a decision on Wonder Woman.” Disney, however, saw a 68% jump in Disney Plus downloads over the long weekend where Mulan was streaming at home for the rental price of $29.99. Mulan also costed $200 million to make, though Disney is not releasing the rental data. Bloomberg reports, “Dollars spent on the app climbed 193% to $12 million compared with a week earlier.”
An educated guess can reason that Universal and MGM were also looking at Tenet’s numbers and not liking what they saw domestically. Tentpole movies like Tenet and Candyman can turn large profits to fund future projects. These profits help make bigger blockbusters but especially help independent films looking for distribution. If the profits aren’t there, fewer films get funded.
Throughout the pandemic, Universal has been releasing films through video on demand (VOD) platforms to varying degrees of success. The family film Trolls: World Tour became a huge success making nearly $100 million dollars without a theatrical release. But seeing as the news explicitly states that Candyman will have a 2021 release date, VOD may not be on the execs’ minds.
If you are looking for any bit of horror hitting theaters this October, Fathom Events has good news. They’ve announced that it will be hosting showings of a newly remastered 40th anniversary Friday the 13th on October 4 and October 7. These showings come just ahead of Scream Factory’s October 13th release of a loaded box set featuring all of the Friday the 13th and Jason movies.
We will let you know as soon as Candyman gets a release date. For now, I guess try saying his name in the mirror five times.