Don’t Breathe: Horror Movies Continue to Score at Box-Office

Sony’s horror-thriller Don’t Breathe is dominating movie-going this weekend with more than $20 million at 3,051 North America, early estimates showed Friday.

Sony remained more cautious abut the forecasts, opting for a projection in the mid-teens while other offered forecasts as high as $24 million. Even at the lower level, “Don’t Breathe” is a profitable play for the studio, given the film’s price tag of less than $10 million.

Don’t Breathe will be well above the closest rival — the fourth frame of Warner “Suicide Squad, which is expected to gross in the $10 million range. The supervillain tentpole should finish the weekend with more than $280 million in its first 24 days in the U.S.

Focus’s second weekend of animated Kubo and the Two Strings will finish with about $6 million.

Roadside Attractions-Miramax’s opening of Southside with You depicting Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, is projecting to finish above $3 million at 813 sites.

The Weinstein Co.’s launch of boxing biopic Hands of Stone at 810 screens will finish in the $2 million range.

Don’t Breathe, directed by Fede Alvarez, centers on a group of teenagers who break into the home of a blind man in order to steal money, only to find themselves in a desperate fight to stay alive. The film, financed by Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films, has been building buzz for its core fan audience with screenings at Comic-Con and SXSW.

The thriller stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang as the blind man.

The film was produced by Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe.

Reviews have been strong with a current 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Don’t Breathe is the latest in a long line of successful and highly profitable horror movies released this season that include The Conjuring 2, The Shallows, Lights Out, and The Purge: Election Year.

New Line’s “The Conjuring 2” with $320 million worldwide.

New Line’s “Lights Out” generated $111 million worldwide.

Unviersal’s “The Purge: Election Year” has hit $102 million.

Sony’s “The Shallows” topped $86 million.