Weekend Box Office: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Almost Triples Budget And Takes Down ‘Suicide Squad’

Don’t Breathe
‘s $26.1 million opening this weekend trounced pre-weekend expectations, knocked Suicide Squad (my review) out of number one for the first time since it opened, and nearly tripled the film’s $9.9 million budget. Horror movies are always good business, since horror fanatics are as much drug addicts as filmgoers, and Don’t Breathe, from director Fede Alvarez (also 2013’s Evil Dead remake) it was a kind of perfect storm. It was a horror film, going up against a dearth of new movies (Mechanic: Resurrection was the only other new film opening in more than 1,000 theaters), and, unusual for a horror movie, it sounds like it was actually good, tracking 86% on RottenTomatoes.

Don’t Breathe‘s opening was just a smidge higher than Alvarez’s last opening with Evil Dead ($25.7 million), which went on to gross $55 million domestic. Of course, critics didn’t like that one as much (61% on RT), and with Don’t Breathe‘s buzz it seems reasonable to assume that it will do better than that. Jason Statham’s Mechanic: Resurrection didn’t screen for critics, and earned $7.5 million in about 2,200 theaters on a budget that probably wasn’t too much more than that. Oi, seven point foive miwyin ain’t hahlf focken bad, innit, Tommy.

In its fourth week of release, Suicide Squad fell another 42% to $12 million, landing in number two. That brings it to $282 million domestic and $635.9 million worldwide, still trailing but closing in on its fellow August release, Guardians of the Galaxy, which did $333 million domestic and $773 million worldwide in 2014. Kubo and the Two Strings landed number 3 with $7.9 million, its low 37.3% decline probably reflecting positive reviews and strong word of mouth.

The other two new releases of the weekend were both odd, not-quite-wide and not-quite-limited release releases, with Roberto Durán biopic Hands of Stone (my review) opening in 810 theaters and Obama’s first date drama Southside With You in 813. Neither set the world on fire, with Southside doing $3 million and Hands of Stone $1.7 million, both finishing outside of the top 10. Riding strong buzz, western Hell Or High Water expanded to 909 theaters and outgrossed both of the aforementioned, at $3.7 million.

Overseas, Jason Bourne earned $50 million in China in its first six days, more than any previous Bourne film has made in its entire run. Similarly, Ice Age: Collision Course, which was more or less a bomb in the US, earned $50 million overseas this weekend, with $42.5 million coming from China. With only $61 million in the US, it has earned $306 million overseas, more than 83% of its total.

Ben-Hur is probably hoping for that kind of reception in China, though it doesn’t look likely, The $100 million snoozer (my review) fell almost 60% off its disappointing opening, earning another $4.5 million for $19.5 million total in the US, and $21.8 overseas. But it hasn’t opened in China yet, so who knows.

Summer is almost over, which means awards season is almost here. Overall, this weekend’s box office was up 43% over the same weekend last year. This weekend brings us The Light Between The Oceans, starring Alicia Vikander and Michael F. Assbender, with Klown Forever and Yoga Hosers in limited release.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Don’t Breathe $26,115,000 $8,559 $26,115,000
2 Suicide Squad $12,110,000 (-41.9) $3,381 $282,882,000
3 Kubo and the Two Strings $7,909,000 (-37.3) $2,412 $24,920,000
4 Sausage Party $7,665,000 (-50.5) $2,445 $80,008,000
5 Mechanic Resurrection $7,500,000 
$3,322 $7,500,000
6 Pete’s Dragon $7,282,000 (-35.8) $2,245 $54,715,000
7 War Dogs $7,255,000 (-50.6) $2,227 $27,757,000
8 Bad Moms $5,760,000 (-27.5) $2,246 $95,453,000
9 Jason Bourne $5,230,000 (-34.8) $2,139 $149,357,000
10 Ben-Hur $4,530,000 (-59.6) $1,469 $19,552,000

[chart via ScreenCrush]

Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.