For nearly the entire month of August, DC blockbuster Suicide Squad has reigned supreme as champion of the box office. That all changed this weekend, as Fede Alvarez’s new horror film Don’t Breathe has succeeded in knocking Squad off of its lofty perch.
Don’t Breathe hauled in just over $26 million on its way to earning the #1 spot domestically, besting most industry projections by around $5 million. Made for a modest budget of $9.9 million, Don’t Breathe has already likely turned a good profit for Screen Gems after only three days in theaters, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to evenually see a sequel commissioned by the studio. With the film receiving a healthy B+ Cinemascore from audiences, it may very well end up having legs enough to take #1 next week too, with its only new high-profile competition set to come courtesy of the Ridley Scott-produced sci-fi thriller Morgan.
Don’t Breathe has also been a big hit with critics, currently sitting at an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This mirrors the performance of Alvarez’s 2013 remake of Evil Dead, which was also certified fresh, and ultimately earned nearly $100 million worldwide on a $17 million budget.
Whether Don’t Breathe performs that well over the long run remains to be seen, but its strong opening numbers suggest that it at least has a shot to come close to that level before leaving theaters. It’s always nice to see an original, R-rated horror film outperform expectations, and prove to Hollywood that not only sequels and remakes can make money.