September has arrived and this notoriously slow month at the movies often spells instant death for new releases. It certainly meant on a dead-on-arrival start for The Light Between Oceans and it spelled total disaster for Morgan, which debuted at number 17 on the box office charts despite being released into more than 2,000 theaters. But this week isn’t all doom and gloom! This slow week gave some much-needed breathing room to a few August releases while allowing Don’t Breathe to have a strong second weekend at the box office.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Don’t Breathe$15,700,000 (-40.6)$5,146$51,123,000
2Suicide Squad$10,005,000 (-18.3)$3,039$297,422,000
3Pete’s Dragon$6,471,000 (-13.0)$1,978$64,222,000
4Kubo and the Two Strings$6,467,000 (-17.6)$2,166$34,328,000
5Sausage Party$5,300,000 (-29.6)$1,916$88,446,000
6The Light Between Oceans$4,984,000$3,323$4,984,000
7Bad Moms$4,740,000 (-15.0)$2,056$102,527,000
8War Dogs$4,705,000 (-33.0)$1,652$35,217,000
9Hell or High Water$4,500,000 (+26.7)$3,454$14,651,000
10Mechanic: Resurrection$4,276,000 (-42.7)$1,894$14,418,000

Don’t Breathe’s strong start last week should have been accompanied with an asterisk — like all horror movies, everyone expected it to plummet in its second weekend. This is traditional for most movies of this kind whether audiences like them or not. Instead, the pitch-dark thriller dipped only 40%, grossing $15 million for a $51 million total. That is an astonishing number for an R-rated horror movie, especially one that only cost $10 million to produce. At this rate, this film will soon be one of 2016’s most profitable movies, especially if Sony can keep it playing in theaters throughout the next six weeks or so.

But that wasn’t the only movie to use the post-summer quiet to its advantage. After a few weeks of tumbling, Suicide Squad held onto its second place spot with $10 million, a drop of only 18%. With $297 earned so far, it should cross $300 million within the next few days before settling in the vicinity of $325 million or so.

However, these small percentage drops were even more important for Pete’s Dragon and Kubo and the Two Strings, which both made $6 million over the weekend while dropping 13% and 17% respectively. The former stands at $64 million and the latter at $34 million; while neither is going to be the massive hit they deserve to be (both are excellent), these small drops are further evidence that word of mouth is doing them many favors. If they can continue to play consistently throughout September, taking only small dips each week, they can emerge as modest successes. Keep an eye on these two.

In fifth place, Sausage Party grossed $5 million for an $88 million total. At this rate, $100 million is still inevitable, but it’ll collapse, out of breath, soon after that milestone. In any case, it’s a much bigger hit than anyone saw coming.

And in sixth place, we finally reach The Light Between Oceans, which whimpered into the top 10 with a $4 million debut. This is the kind of movie that could have done well if it was rolled out slowly during Oscar season, but being dumped into 1500 theaters during the first weekend in September did it no favors. It’ll be out of the top 10 by next weekend.

For an example of an older audience drama being rolled out well, you only need to look to Hell or High Water, which continued expanding this weekend and earned $4 million in ninth place. With $14 million in the bank so far, the crime drama will almost certainly stall out before it hits $30 million, but it’ll be viewed as a success in the long run.

Meanwhile, Mechanic: Resurrection is set to die a quick death while War Dogs struggles, dying slowly and publicly. However, Bad Moms deserves a victory lap – the relatively inexpensive comedy officially crossed $100 million this weekend, making it one of the summer's most surprising success stories.

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