Columbia scored its first numberone of the year as Revolution Studios' $11m horror picture Darkness Falls opened at the top on $12.5m, according to studio estimatesreleased today (Jan 26). The story centres on a young man who is stalked by theTooth Fairy and stars Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield and Joshua Anderson and wasdirected by debutant Jonathan Liebesman. The PG-13 film averaged $4,406 from2,837 theatres and marked the only new release to break into the top 10 - mostdistributors preferred to lie low out of deference to Superbowl Sunday, whichtypically leaves half the country's population glued to their televisionscreens. Accordingly box office for the top 12 grossed $82.9m, down 25% on thesame period last year (Superbowl took place a week later in 2002). Shunted intosecond place was the Warner Bros comedy and last weekend's topper KangarooJack, which took $11.9m for a $35.5mrunning total in its second week.

Miramax's Chicago reaped the rewards of its Golden Globes success as itclimbed three places to third for $8.5m and a cumulative score of $40.6m in itssixth weekend on release. Playing in 616 venues, it averaged a mighty $13,721and will expand wide on Feb 7, days before the Oscar nominations are announced.

Otherwise the top ten remainedvirtually the same except for Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, George Clooney's directorial debut, which expanded into1,769 theatres in its fourth week and leapt 35 places to eighth on $6m. TheMiramax spoof biopic of The Gong Showhost Chuck Barris, who claimed to have been a CIA hitman all the while, hasgrossed $6.5m thus far and appears to be struggling to mount a serious boxoffice assault. Miramax's Gangs Of New York contined to register a respectable total, slipping one to12th on $2.9m for $65.5m in its sixth week.

Next weekend's releases includeBuena Vista's spy thriller The Recruit,starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrell; New Line's horror sequel FinalDestination 2, starring Ali Carter and A JCook; and DreamWorks' action picture Biker Boyz, starring Laurence Fishburne and Derek Luke.

Estimated Top Ten US January24-26, 2003

Film (Distributor)/Internationaldistribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Darkness Falls (Columbia) Columbia TriStar/Revolution $12.5m -

2 (1) Kangaroo Jack (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $11.93m $35.49m

3 (6) Chicago (Miramax) Miramax International $8.45m $40.59m

4 (3) Just Married (Fox) Fox International $7.47m $44.34m

5 (2) National Security (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $7.4m $26.13m

6 (5) The Lord Of The Rings:The Two Towers (New Line) New LineInternational $6.9m $309.11m

7 (4) Catch Me If You Can (DreamWorks) UIP $6.6m $145.1m

8 (43) Confessions Of ADangerous Mind (Miramax) MiramaxInternational $6m $6.5m

9 (8) About Schmidt (New Line) New Line International $5.53m $37.89m

10 (9) The Hours (Paramount) Miramax International $4m $13.93m