In its debut weekend in US and Canadian theatres, the director’s remake of the 1992 horror film grossed $22 million (£16 million).
That’s almost as much as the film’s real production cost, which was co-written and produced by Jordan Peele of Get Out.
The film is named after a hook-handed killer who has become a terrifying urban legend, based on a Clive Barker story.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars in the new film as a visual artist who regrets basing an exhibit on the Candyman legend.
When DaCosta was approached to direct the latest instalment in the horror franchise, she only had one movie credit, 2018’s Little Woods.
The Marvels, the sequel to the 2019 Marvel comic book blockbuster Captain Marvel, is currently in production.
Candyman is the latest horror film to do well in theatres in the United States as the industry recovers from the effects of the Covid pandemic.
A Quiet Place Part II was another terrifying success story, with North American audiences accounting for more than half of the film’s worldwide gross of $296 million (£215 million).
Even with Hurricane Ida reducing attendance in various southern US states, it fared better than projected.
Candyman also defied previous trends by debuting only in theatres, with no simultaneous distribution on streaming services.
Films with a dual-release plan, such as Black Widow and The Suicide Squad, saw their box office plummet in their second weekend in theatres.
Candyman’s triumph came at the expense of action comedy Free Guy, which fell to second place with $13.6 million (£9.8 million) in weekend box office receipts.
Paw Patrol: The Movie, a canine animated film, also took a step back in its second weekend at North American theatres, grossing $6.6 million (£4.8 million).