"Chronicle" wins tight box office race

Sun Feb 5, 2012 4:39pm EST
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Teen boys with superpowers helped lift the movie box office to unexpected heights over Super Bowl weekend as thriller "Chronicle" edged "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe's haunted house movie "The Woman in Black."

"Chronicle" brought in an estimated $22.0 million from U.S. and Canadian theaters, studio estimates released on Sunday showed. The movie with largely unknown actors finished just ahead of Radcliffe's "Woman in Black," which took in an estimated $21.0 million.

Both performances surpassed projections from studio executives, who had expected weaker sales against competition from Sunday's Super Bowl football championship. The tallies include actual ticket receipts for Friday and Saturday plus estimates for Sunday at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters.

"Chronicle" added $13 million from 33 international markets, for a global weekend total of $35 million.

The appearance of young moviegoers, who had shunned some recent films targeted to them, boosted the top two films.

"The teen audience seems to be coming back to movies again. There was serious worry they were fading," said John Davis, who produced "Chronicle."

The movie tells the story of three teenage boys who develop superpowers and find they have a dark side. People under age 25 made up 61 percent of the movie's audience, distributor 20th Century Fox said. Fifty-five percent were males.

The studio produced "Chronicle" for about $12 million and had forecast debut weekend sales below $10 million.   Continued...