This past weekend was a beautiful victory for a horror film! The other newcomers didn’t do as well, and did Suicide Squad fall very far after being dethroned? Don’t hold your breath. Let’s blindly jump into this week’s Making Dollars and Sense! (You know…because the guy is blind in Don’t Breathe?)

For the first time since The Conjuring 2 back in June, a horror film took the top of the box office! Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe was a massive success with critics and audiences alike, with many reviews calling it the best horror film of the past decade (a common claim among horror critics when describing a new horror film they love, myself included), with a weekend pull of $26.4 million. And on a meager budget of $9.9 million, it’s safe to say Don’t Breathe was a success. Fede Alvarez seems to know the key to making a successful horror film, which isn’t as obvious to filmmakers as you think, and that is: scare the audience. Don’t just mix blood and boobs and jump scares, throw it in the oven for an hour and a half and hope it works. Create a world that traps the audience, forcing it to look its fears in the face without means of escape. And that seems to be exactly what Don’t Breathe has done with its claustrophobic house, original story riddled with twists, and practical effects. Speaking of which, I’ve read that Don’t Breathe is, in a way, Alvarez’s response to critics who thought Evil Dead was only successful because of its legacy, and the over-the-top violence and gore. Alvarez set out to prove them all wrong by making a low-budget, almost no-gore, original story, and judging by its opening weekend, those critics were left breathless.

Our other national wide release newcomer, Mechanic: Resurrection, took the number five spot this week with $7.4 million, neck and neck with Kubo and the Two Strings and Sausage Party. And while it's still hanging on better than I can even begin to understand, Suicide Squad has officially been dethroned from it's top spot on the box office after three ridiculous weekends of trumping movies it really had no business in besting. But like I said, it didn't fall far - the Warner Bros supervillian film took the number two spot. We really could use a good PG-13 movie right about now so the teenagers have something better to go see and stop feeding this money hungry machine which is clearly all this movie is at this point.

Coming up this weekend, we only have one wide release, and that is The Light Between Oceans starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a married couple of lighthouse keepers who lose their child, only to have another child miraculously arrive by boat on shore. Things seem fine and well for a couple years until word of this child reaches someone whose husband and baby were lost at sea some years earlier. This film was directed by Derek Cianfrance who also directed the devastating Blue Valentine and one of the greatest films about fathers and consequences, The Place Beyond the Pines. This is a PG-13 film, but it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drama, so we likely won’t see Suicide Squad dropping off just yet. Regardless, this promises to be the first of what will hopefully be a powerful season of Oscar contenders and stories that will leave audiences changed for the better. 

All in all I wouldn't be too surprised if we didn't see next weekend's top five at the Box Office looking something like this:

  1. Light between Oceans
  2. Dont Breathe
  3. Suicide Squad
  4. Sausage Party
  5. Kubo and the Two Strings

But that’s all for this week! Whether you're looking for a good solid cry this weekend, a ridiculously over the top action flix, or something to scare you to your core, you've got a lot of options in theaters right now, so go see a movie and we’ll see you next time!

-Adam Stutsman

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