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Box office hits and misses: ‘Don’t Breathe’ turns the lights out on ‘Suicide Squad’

Sometimes a movie comes along with just the right amount of positive buzz at just the right time in the movie calendar, and it surprises everyone.

That’s what happened with director Fede Alvarez’s thriller Don’t Breathe this weekend.

The film about a trio of would-be robbers who break into the house of a wealthy blind man, only to discover that he’s more capable — and dangerous — than they expect, ended the three-week reign of Suicide Squad with a relatively hefty $26.1 million debut in theaters. Given that the movie cost less than $10 million to make, studio Screen Gems has to be pretty pleased with the performance of the “R”-rated Don’t Breathe, which also received excellent reviews from critics and general audiences.

Related: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ beautifully raises the bar for animated storytelling

Holding on for second place was Warner Bros. Pictures’ supervillain team-up movie, which appears to have slowed its week-to-week decline at the box office considerably. Suicide Squad ended up adding another $12.1 million to its domestic gross, and should pass Man of Steel next weekend to become the second highest-grossing movie (in U.S. theaters) of the studio’s DC Comics cinematic universe. If it manages to stick around long enough, it could also beat this year’s polarizing Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice to take the top spot, but that’s a bit farther off.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Don’t Breathe $26.1M $26.1M $28M
2. Suicide Squad $12.1M $282.8M $635.9M
3. Kubo and the Two Strings $7.9M $24.9M $27.6M
4. Sausage Party $7.6M $80M $88.7M
5. Mechanic: Resurrection $7.5M $7.5M $7.5M
6. Pete’s Dragon $7.2M $54.7M $76.2M
7. War Dogs $7.2M $27.7M $42.6M
8. Bad Moms $5.7M $95.4M $124.1M
9. Jason Bourne $5.2M $149.3M $347.8M
10. Ben-Hur $4.5M $19.5M $41.3M

The only other film to crack the weekend’s top ten was Mechanic: Resurrection, the action sequel that brings Jason Statham back to the role he first played in 2011’s The Mechanic (a remake of the 1972 film of the same name). The movie had a surprisingly successful debut, earning $7.5 million in U.S. theaters as the fifth highest-grossing movie of the weekend.

Both of this weekend’s “R”-rated comedies continued to do well at the box office, with Sausage Party adding another $7.6 million to its $80 million domestic gross so far, and Bad Moms raking in $5.7 million for a grand total of $95.4 million in U.S. theaters up to this point. That’s certainly not bad for films that cost $19 million and $20 million, respectively, to make.

On the flip side, the remake of Ben-Hur — which cost more than $100 million to make — continued its underwhelming (to put it mildly) run in theaters with a 10th-place finish for the weekend, having earned just $19 million domestically so far and $41.3 million worldwide.

This upcoming weekend doesn’t feature any high-profile new releases, but it does feature a few premieres that — like Don’t Breathe — could do well or could debut without generating any buzz at all, depending on the whims of audiences. Among them are Kevin Smith’s Canadian horror comedy Yoga Hosers, the creepy thriller Morgan, and the reboot of the Kickboxer martial arts franchise, Kickboxer: Vengeance. This week is a tough one to predict, so we’ll just have to wait and see which film is on top when the dust settles a week from now.