The horror genre proves to be frighteningly reliable this season as “Don’t Breathe” is the latest scary flick to have an impressive box office showing. The film, from Sony’s Screen Gems and Steve Bersch’s Stage 6 Films, earned $10 million on Friday at 3,051 locations, and is eyeing a $22 million opening weekend.
“Suicide Squad” will steal second place this weekend with about $11 million at 3,582 locations. The Warner Bros. film is in its fourth frame and has already earned well over $500 million worldwide.
Jason Statham will carry “Mechanic: Resurrection” to an opening of $7 million at 2,258 locations after earning $2.6 million on Friday. The film, about an assassin forced out of retirement, follows up on 2011’s “The Mechanic.” Specialty division Lionsgate Premiere is distributing the film, and is banking on success in the U.K. market.
After a $1 million Friday, “Southside with You” from Roadside Attractions and Miramax is projecting to finish with $3 million at 813 sites, while TWC’s boxing biopic “Hands of Stone” will open to about $2 million at 810 locations.
The third weekend of Sony’s “Sausage Party,” will consume a little over $7 million this weekend, putting it in third behind “Suicide Squad.” Laika’s animated “Kubo and the Two Strings” from Focus won $2 million in sales Friday, and will finish the weekend with about $7 million at 3,279 locations.
This strong opening for “Don’t Breathe” is especially successful considering its price tag of less than $10 million. It debuted at SXSW and screened at Comic-Con, and currently has an 87% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Don’t Breathe” is a horror-thriller about three robbers in Detroit who target a man who they think is blind and helpless, but turns out to be anything but. It is directed by Fede Alvarez and stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang.
Horror projects have shown an uncanny ability to draw crowds this year — New Line’s “The Conjuring 2” has earned over $100 million domestically and $320 million worldwide, while the same studio’s “Lights Out” has brought in a global sum of $111 million. Universal’s “The Purge: Election Year” also broke the $100 million milestone worldwide.
This all comes in a summer where flops are aplenty. “Ben-Hur,” the $100 million production that debuted last weekend to a dismal $11 million and change, while sequels and reboots like “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Ghostbusters” have underperformed as well.