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Chicago averaged an impressive $13,721 a theater, compared with $4,406 in 2,837 theaters for Darkness Falls.
DARKNESS FALLS ON BOX OFFICE
Horror Flick Tops Award-Winning Chicago, Kangaroo Yarn
The horror flick Darkness Falls, a ghost tale, scared up $12.5 million in its opening weekend to debut as the No. 1 movie.

Last weekend's top movie, the kids comedy Kangaroo Jack, fell to second place with $11.9 million.

The musical Chicago continued to climb the charts in narrower release. It expanded to 616 theaters, an increase of 59, and took in $8.5 million to finish at No. 3, up from sixth place the previous weekend. Chicago averaged an impressive $13,721 a theater, compared with $4,406 in 2,837 theaters for Darkness Falls.

With $40.6 million already in the bank and solid Academy Awards prospects, Chicago is well poised to expand into wide release Feb. 7, days before the Oscar nominations come out.

George Clooney's directing debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind broke into the top 10 in its first weekend of wide release after a limited debut in December to qualify for the Oscars. Starring Sam Rockwell as game-show host Chuck Barris in a fictionalized film biography, Confessions grossed $6 million and came in at No. 8.

Other awards contenders held well as they expanded to more theaters, including About Schmidt, which came in at No. 9 with $5.5 million, and The Hours, which was No. 10 with $4 million.

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