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Weekend Box Office: Chronicle has Super Weekend, Woman in Black Just a Hair Behind

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By Chris Kavan - 02/06/12 at 08:44 PM CT

Despite the draw of the Super Bowl, it was a super weekend at the box office as it marked the first time in history two films broke the $20 million mark vs. the biggest football game of the year. It also represented a massive 32% increase in the total box office compared to 2011.

The super teen found footage film Chronicle took the top spot with $24 million. While that total is behind the openings for The Devil Inside ($33.7 million) and the last two Paranormal Activity films, considering Chronicle's total budget was just $12 million, doubling that amount is a good sign the genre still has legs. That total also represents the fourth-best opening for any film over Superbowl weekend. Audiences awarded it a solid B, increasing to B+ for those under 25.

Daniel Radcliffe should also be happy with his first post-Potter film. The Woman in Black earned a solid $20.8 million. Radcliffe brought in his target audience, as 59% of the audience was female and 57% under 25. It also represents the best opening for the CBS Films studio, easily topping The Back-Up Plan ($12.2 million). The film earned a B-, increased to a B for those under 25.

Big Miracle wasn't so miraculous at the box office, opening in fourth place with about $7.8 million. Despite earning a respectable A- score, the hoped-for female audience didn't show up in big numbers. It will take a pretty big miracle for the film to end up anywhere near Dolphin Tale's $72 million total.

Last week's top film, The Grey, tumbled 53% to third place with $9.3 million. That's a bigger drop than Taken or Unknown, but considering neither of those involved facing the Superbowl, that's also not a big surprise. The film has earned $34.4 million since opening.

Underworld Awakening rounded out the top five with $5.5 million. Although it suffered the worst drop out of any film in the top ten (55%) the $54.2 million it currently stands at still represents a series best - tracking just ahead of Underworld: Evolution's $53 million.

Outside the top five, Alexander Payne has a new top film in his career, as The Descendants dropped just 29% and still held on to its eighth place spot with $4.55 million and moved to a $65.5 total - just ahead of About Schmidt's $65 million. It should easily be able to increase that gap in the coming weeks.

On the flip side of things, Woman and Black and Big Miracle both ate into the audience for One for the Money, which wound up in sixth place with $5.2 million and a $19.6 million total. With a $40 million budget, it doesn't look like this is going to be a winning outing for Katherine Heigl and Co.

Next week Journey 2: The Mysterious Island hopes to captivate families, Safe House brings the thrills, The Vow goes the romantic route and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace strikes back in 3D. We'll see if audiences remain in the mood to give 2012 another winning weekend compared to last year.

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