Harry Potter & the House of Hammer Battles The Adventures of Super Carrie for Box Office Championship

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boxoffice - Harry Potter & the House of Hammer Battles The Adventures of Super Carrie for Box Office ChampionshipAt the time of my writing this box office report, we still don’t know how close the score will be in the big game between the New England Patriots and “the New York football Giants” (as Howard Cosell used to call them), but at the movie Super Bowl this weekend, a one-point difference is about all that separated The Woman in Black and Chronicle for the box office championship.

“Harry Potter and the House of Hammer” looked to be the winner of this weekend’s box office struggle at the start of the showdown until “The Adventures of Super Carrie” came from behind to eek out a win. Both films also made box office history as never before had two movies opening on Super Bowl weekend made upwards of $20 million each.

The kind of, sort of, not really, but maybe a little horror-ish superhero cinema verite flick Chronicle overcame the British spookfest The Woman in Black with a first place showing of $22 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The $12 million POV teenagers with superpowers flick written by Max Landis, son of An American Werewolf in London helmer John Landis, proved that volcanically negative audience reaction to The Devil Inside may not have killed the found footage genre after all, at least not when the genre of the found footage movie in question isn’t overtly horror.

Chronicle director Josh Trank has already been tapped by Fox to direct the studio’s Fantastic Four reboot that promises to be more fantastic than just silly. If we’re lucky, they’ll take a page out of Chronicle’s playbook and have the rest of the team try and stop the Human Torch after he flips out and goes on a flame-shooting Columbine-like killing spree in a major city.

Hammer Films proved they’re back as the little ghost flick that could, The Woman in Black, brought in around $21 million for the weekend. That’s also good news for its distributor, CBS Films (they acquired the film for $3 million and did not spend much on marketing), and even better news for Daniel Radcliffe, who may have successfully just proven that audiences will accept him in roles that don’t involves magic wands and dorky glasses. Good for him and good for Hammer.

The Grey continues to see green as it raked in $9.5 million for its second weekend. Joe Carnahan’s wilderness survival thriller held strong, only dropping about 52% in its second weekend and holding onto the third place spot.

Between The Grey, Taken, and Unknown, it should now be apparent to Hollywood execs that if they release a movie in late January/early February in which Liam Neeson beats the snot out of men or animals, it will make money. Wintertime is clearly Liam Neeson ass-kicking time.

Kate Beckinsale in skintight fetish wear dropping from ceilings and fighting giant werewolves took in another $5.6 million for fifth place. The $54 million Underworld: Awakening has now taken in domestically pushes it past the box office haul of the previous Kate Beckinsale in skintight fetish wear dropping from ceilings and fighting giant winged were-vamps sequel, Underworld: Evolution.

Next weekend: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island might not be pure horror, but it does have plenty of monsters and The Rock doing the Pec Pop of Love in 3D, a terrifying notion in its own right. Can Dwayne Johnson starring in Brendan Fraser’s sloppy seconds take the top slot?

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