LOS ANGELES — The horror movie “Don’t Breathe” has reason to let out a big sigh of relief. The late summer thriller brought in $26.1 million, according to studio estimates released Sunday.

That’s more than double the early predictions for how the film would perform and far above the modest production budget, which was reportedly less than $10 million. Stage 6 Films produced and Sony’s Screen Gems oversaw distribution.

“Don’t Breathe” is about a group of Detroit teens who chose the wrong house to rob – that of a blind, vengeful veteran. It stars Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette and was directed by Fede Alvarez, who is known for the “Evil Dead” remake.

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 fresh 87 percent.

“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, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore.

– The Associated Press

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