Despite losing potential moviegoers to the Super Bowl, ”Darkness Falls” scored a touchdown at the box office this weekend, earning $12.5 million, according to studio estimates.
The thriller, which features no big-name stars, benefited from a super-wide release, heavy TV promotion, and a lack of strong competition to top the charts. But close behind was the kiddie comedy “Kangaroo Jack,” which slipped only 28 percent from its debut last week to $11.9 million. The family film, starring Jerry O’Connell, has grossed $35.5 million in its first ten days.
Expanding to 616 theaters, the Golden Globe-winning musical “Chicago” brought in a fantastic $13,717 per theater for a weekend gross of $8.5 million, good enough for third place and raising its total past $40 million. The critically-praised film, starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere, will continue to perform strongly throughout the awards season.
Rounding out the top five were two returning comedies: Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy’s “Just Married” fell 37 percent in its third week to $7.5 million, while the Martin Lawrence action comedy “National Security” plummeted 49 percent to $7.4 million. Its 10-day total is only $26.1 million. Lawrence’s “Big Momma’s House” earned almost that much in its first weekend three years ago. Perhaps it’s time for Lawrence to break out that fat suit again.