Moviegoers aching for a good horror pic propelled Darkness Falls from obscurity to the top of the box office this weekend, knocking last week's victor, Jerry Bruckheimer's Down Under comedy Kangaroo Jack, to second place. While the expansion of Chicago hit a high box office note, the biopic Confessions of a Dangerous Mind proved more of a disappointment.
Darkness Falls, about a small town haunted by a killer Tooth Fairy, took in a not so menacing $12.5 million*. The film profited from being the only new wide release to hit theaters this week. Kangaroo Jack, now in its second week, bounded behind with $11.9 million.
Hot on the heels of its Golden Globe award for best motion picture for a musical or comedy, the crime musical Chicago came in third with $8.4 million. Apparently, everyone really does loves a legend.
The Hours, meanwhile, continued its limited run but still managed to round out the Top 10 with $4 million.
The small screen apparently gave theatrical releases a run for their money this week, as moviegoers opted to stay home and watch the Super Bowl instead, causing box office dollars to decline.
THE TOP TEN
Sony Picture's PG-13-rated Darkness Falls opened with an ESTIMATED $12.5 million at 2,837 theaters ($4,406 per theater).
The horror flick revolves around a young boy who claims to have awakened from a sound sleep to see the Tooth Fairy trying to kill him. Years later he returns to confront his troubled past and save his hometown from an unrelenting evil that has plagued it for over a century.
Last week's box office champ, Warner Bros.' PG-rated Kangaroo Jack, was bumped to second place in its second week. The comedy took in an ESTIMATED $11.9 million (-28%) at 2,848 theaters (+30 theaters; $4,189 per theater). Its cume is approximately $35.4 million.
In its first week of wide expansion, Miramax's PG-13-rated Chicago climbed three notches to third place with an ESTIMATED $8.4 million (+11%) at 616 theaters (+59 theaters; $13, 721 per theater). The musical comedy had the highest per theater average of any film this week. Its cume is approximately $40.5 million.
The honeymoon is far from over for 20th Century Fox's Just Married. In its third week of release the PG-13 comedy fell one rung to fourth place with an ESTIMATED $7.4 million (-37%) at 2,706 theaters (-63 theaters; $2,761 per theater). Its cume is approximately $44.3 million.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Sony Pictures' National Security fell three notches in its second week, bagging an ESTIMATED $7.4 million (-49%)--a steep drop from last week. The PG-13-rated comedy played across 2,729 screen (unchanged from last week) with a $2,712 per theater average. Its cume is approximately $26.1 million.
New Line Cinema's PG-13 fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers slid from fifth to sixth place in its sixth week, with a very real $6.9 million (-33%) at 2,666 theaters (-444 theaters; $2,588 per theater). Its cume is approximately $309.1 million.
DreamWorks' PG-13 crime biopic Catch Me If You Can fell three places to seventh in its fifth week of release with an ESTIMATED $6.6 million (-38%) at 2,776 theaters (-274 theaters; $2,376 per theater). Its cume is approximately $145.1 million.
In its first week of wide expansion, Miramax's R-rated Confessions of a Dangerous Mind netted an ESTIMATED $6 million at 1,769 theaters (+1,764 theaters; $3,393 per theater). Its cume is approximately $6.5 million.
New Line Cinema's R-rated dark comedy About Schmidt fell a notch to ninth place in its seventh week of release with an ESTIMATED $5.6 million (-3%) at 1,236 theaters (+290 theaters, $4,470 thaeters). Its cume is approximately $37.8 million.
Rounding out the Top 10 was Paramount Picture's The Hours. The PG-13 drama dropped a peg in its fifth week of release with an ESTIMATED $4 million (-14%) at 502 theaters (+100 theaters; $7,968 per theater). Its cume is approximately $13.9 million.
This weekend, the top 12 films grossed an ESTIMATED $82.9 million, down 16.67 percent from last weekend, when they took in $99.5 million. The decrease may be a result of moviegoers staying home for the Super Bowl, which came a weekend later last year.
The top 12 were also down 24.74 percent from last year, when they grossed $10.2 million.
Last year, Sony's R-rated Black Hawk Down dominated the box office in its fifth week with $17 million at 3,101 theaters ($5,486 per theater); Buena Vistas' G-rated Snow Dogs was second in its second week of release with $13 million at 2,440 theaters ($5,360 per theater); and Warner Bros.' PG-13 teen drama A Walk to Remember debuted in third with $12.1 million at 2,411 theaters ($5,051 per theater).