'Don't Breathe' scares up $26.1 million as hot summer for horror continues

Carla Harmon
August 31, 2016

"To more than double your production budget on opening weekend is a fantastic result", Sony worldwide president of marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein commented.

"As it turns out, horror is the least scary genre this summer, especially to the bean counters in Hollywood", said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore.

"The Conjuring" was the last original horror flick to bring in more money in its debut frame.

At the specialty box office, CBS Films and Lionsgate's Hell or High Water - one of the best reviewed films of the year - continues to prosper as it expands into a total of 909 theaters. As Brent Lang of Variety pointed out when discussing Don't Breathe's success, the healthy profit margins guaranteed by lower-budget hits might be huge to an indie producer like Jason Blum, but they're less vital to a publicly traded company like Time Warner, the owner of Warner Bros., which has invested billions in a DC superhero universe.

After 4 weeks in first place and more 282 million dollars in revenue, Suicide Squad gives way to the film Do not Breathe - The house of darkness.

Landing in third was "Kubo and the Two Strings", from LAIKA and Focus Features, with $7.9 million. The stop-motion animated movie brought in $7.9 million to bring its total gross up to $24.9 million.

"Sausage Party" drops from its second-place spot last week to fourth place. The R-rated animated film is now up to $80 million domestically and $88.7 million worldwide. And the Jason Statham-led sequel "Mechanic: Resurrection" rounded out the top five in its first weekend with $7.5 million.

Next weekend will nearly certainly see Don't Breathe rule again, as the only new openings are Fox's low-key sci-fi thriller Morgan and Disney's romantic period drama The Light Between Oceans. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. But although it and Sausage Party have surged as late summer surprise hits, full on blockbusters are on a hibernation until the fall.

"Mechanic: Resurrection", $7.5 million ($6.1 million international). It is showing a bit more overseas strength than might be expected for what was marketed as a war on terror-related film; that genre doesn't often perform almost as well internationally. Where available, the latest global numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Not bad at all for a flick that cost around $10 million.

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