Low-budget horror flicks are summer’s surprise hits
That’s more than double the early predictions for how the scary pic would perform and far above the modest production budget, which was reportedly less than $10 million.
Sony Pictures Marketing Chief Josh Greenstein noted how rare it was for a film in this genre to have resonated so deeply with critics. The current Rotten Tomatoes score is a “very fresh” 87 percent. It also continues Sony’s summer of seeing successes with original films that cost very little to make.
“This marks a string of very profitable hits for Sony with very modest budgets. ‘The Shallows,’ ‘Sausage Party’ and now ‘Don’t Breathe’ were all incredibly profitable because they were made for modest budgets and did incredibly well at the box office,” Greenstein said.
It’s also the latest horror success for Hollywood this summer, which has seen films like “Lights Out,” “The Conjuring 2,” and “The Purge: Election Year” thrive while their bigger budget, spectacle-driven counterparts flailed.
“As it turns out horror is the least scary genre this summer, especially to the bean counters in Hollywood,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. “[They]can almost always be counted on to make money.”
Horror films, Dergarabedian said, perform very well on home video too.
“Don’t Breathe” effectively unseated “Suicide Squad” from its three week run atop the box office. This weekend, the comic book film “Suicide Squad” grossed $12.1 million, bringing its domestic total to $282.9 million.
Laika’s “Kubo and the Two Strings” took third place in its second weekend in theaters with $7.9 million. The $60 million film has now earned $24.8 million domestically.
“Sausage Party,” meanwhile, continued to have a ball at the box office, earning $7.7 million for a fourth place finish and an $80 million domestic total.
Overall the box office was up 32 percent from this weekend last year, when “Straight Outta Compton” opened. AP