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BERLIN — No one knew what to expect from horror-thriller The Woman in Black, Daniel Radcliffe‘s first film since the Harry Potter franchise, including whether Potter fans — a potent force — would continue to follow the young actor.
Woman in Black, distributed in the U.S. by CBS Films, zoomed past expectations this past weekend, opening to an impressive $20.8 million. Younger females powered the pic, produced by Exclusive Media’s Hammer Films and Alliance, whose U.K. subsidiary Momentum Pictures opens The Woman in Black on Friday (the movie marks Exclusive’s top opener ever domestically).
“It’s absolutely a great relief, and a great release,” Radcliffe said in an interview with THR. “It’s a joy to be doing something totally different from Harry Potter and really thrilling. What’s encouraging is there does seem to be a genuine interest in me. There’s a curiosity about what I want to do.”
Now Radcliffe is in the news at the European Film Market in Berlin, where his next film, Kill Your Darlings, is being shopped to foreign buyers by Inferno. From Killer Films and Benaroya Pictures, Kill Your Darlings is about the murder that brought a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs together at Columbia University in 1944.
Radcliffe plays Ginsberg in the film, while Jack Huston plays Kerouac and Dane DeHaan portrays Burroughs. Elizabeth Olsen also stars. Director John Krokidas begins shooting Kill Your Darlings next month in New York City. Woman in Black also began as a market title and begins its foreign rollout this weekend with the U.K. opening.
Tracking is spiking in the U.K., particularly among teenage girls and younger women, the same demo that turned out in force in the U.S. The 22-year-old actor told THR he has no particular strategy in terms of his career other than trusting his instincts. “I have a lot of confidence in the fact that I have good taste. It’s about the source material,” he said.
Woman in Black is based on Susan Hill‘s novel of the same name. James Watkins directed from an adapted script by Jane Goldman. In a strange twist of fate, Radcliffe and DeHaan ended up squaring off at the box office. DeHaan is in 20th Century Fox’s high school superpower pic Chronicle, which edged out Woman in Black for the No. 1 spot, grossing $22 million. Like Woman in Black, Chronicle overperformed.
“There was no one happier than John [Krokidas] on Monday morning,” Radcliffe said. Radcliffe, who recently finished his starring role in Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, hasn’t set his next film project after Kill Your Darlings. While he’s moved on from Potter, Radcliffe did say in a recent Radio Times interview that he found it “disheartening” that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 wasn’t nominated for best picture.
“I don’t think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids’ films, unless they’re directed by Martin Scorsese. I was watching Hugo the other day and going, ‘Why is this nominated and we’re not?’ I was slightly miffed. There’s a certain amount of snobbery,” Radcliffe said in the interview.
Radcliffe is repped by UTA and ARG.
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