1. “Chronicle,” $22 million.
2. “The Woman in Black,” $21 million.
3. “The Grey,” $9.5 million.
4. “Big Miracle,” $8.5 million.
5. “Underworld Awakening,” $5.6 million.
6. “One for the Money,” $5.3 million.
7. “Red Tails,” $5 million.
8. “The Descendants,” $4.6 million.
9. “Man on a Ledge,” $4.5 million.
10. “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” $3.9 million.
S ome unknown kids with superpowers have nudged out the world’s most famous teen wizard at the weekend box office.
The 20th Century Fox release “Chronicle,” featuring a relatively unknown cast as youths who gain telekinetic abilities, debuted as the No. 1 movie with $22 million.
Sunday studio estimates put “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe’s ghost story “The Woman in Black,” released by CBS Films, just behind with a $21 million opening.
The results were close enough that the No. 1 and 2 rankings could switch when final numbers are released Monday.
The two movies had healthy starts considering it was Super Bowl weekend, when few people go to theaters on Sunday because of the big game.
Each movie landed in the all-time top-10 list for Super Bowl weekend debuts, which is headed by the $31.1 million opening for 2008’s “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“To have two movies over $20 million on a Super Bowl weekend is really strong,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “If the Super Bowl is as close as these two movies, that’ll be a really good Super Bowl.”
Both movies packed in solid teen and early-20s crowds, Hollywood’s bread-and-butter audience that had been giving movies a pass during a box-office slide late last year.
“Chronicle” was “designed and made for a younger demographic. That demographic has been the one that’s been missing from theaters,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox. “There’s something very unique and very innovative about this movie that they got wind of. There was a lot of pre-release chatter on social media that made a connection with this audience.”
From first-time director Josh Trank, “Chronicle” relies on documentary-style, hand-held filming techniques to tell the story of three teens (Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell) who put their newfound superpowers to work in mischievous and eventually dark ways.
“Chronicle” added $13 million overseas for a worldwide total of $35 million.
In “The Woman in Black,” his first starring role since last summer’s “Harry Potter” finale, Radcliffe plays a widowed lawyer beset by ghostly apparitions at the remote home of a recently deceased client.
While the audience for “Chronicle” was 55 percent male, the crowds for “Woman in Black” were 59 percent female, drawn by heartthrob Radcliffe and the lure of an old-fashioned Gothic ghost story.