Box Office Report: 'Chronicle,' 'Woman in Black' Overperforming for Possible $19 Mil-Plus Weekend

Chronicle Alex Russell Michael B Jordan Dane Dehaan in Dark - H 2012
20th Century Fox

Chronicle Alex Russell Michael B Jordan Dane Dehaan in Dark - H 2012

The two genre films are in a close race for the weekend crown, although 'Chronicle' was slightly ahead on Friday night.

The strength of the 2012 domestic box office continued to surprise on Friday as 20th Century Fox's edgy superpower pic Chronicle and CBS Films' horror thriller The Woman in Black zoomed past expectations.

Chronicle, only costing $12 million to produce, was expected to gross in the $8 million to $8.5 million range for the day, potentially putting it ahead of Daniel Radcliffe starer Woman in Black, which was expected to gross $7.5 million to $8 million. Those numbers could change once final grosses are tallied Saturday morning.

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"It's been a horse race all night--nip and tuck and tuck and nip between Chronicle and Woman in Black," one studio insider remarked.

In terms of the weekend, both films are now on course to gross in the $19 million-plus range, far more than expected.

The two genre pics look to be succeeding in piling up points before Super Bowl Sunday, when box office traffic can dip substantially.

Woman in Black is hoping to pull ahead of Chronicle for the weekend since it is appealing to younger women, a demo less interested in the football than younger man, who are turning out for Chronicle.

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The third new film of the weekend is Universal's family friendly whale pic Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski. The movie was in third position out of the gate.

Chronicle, about a group of friends who acquire superpowers and use them to make mischief until one of them begins using them for darker purposes was directed by Josh Trank and stars Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kelly.

Woman in Black, based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name, was produced by Hammer Film Productions and preemptively acquired by CBS Films just before the Cannes Film Festival last year. Also starring Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer, the ghost story was directed by James Watkins.

Insiders at CBS Films, which acquired Woman in Black for a modest $3 million, say the movie played much broadly than expected during test screenings.

Universal's campaign for Big Miracle has targeted moms and girls, the latter being the demo least interested in football (that's why Disney opened Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour over Super Bowl weekend).

FILM REVIEW: Big Miracle

Directed by Ken Kwapis, Big Miracle is based on the 1989 book Freeing the Whales, and tells the story of the international rescue effort to rescue three gray whales trapped in ice near Point Barrow, Alaska. In the movie, Barrymore and Krasinski play a nonprofit aid worker and a government worker who develop a romance.