This year's horror entry outgains prior seasons'

Super Bowl weekend has become prime real estate for horror pics, mostly due to the genre’s outsized support from female moviegoers.

While the frame’s latest scarer, CBS Films’ “The Woman in Black,” failed to win the weekend (bragging rights went to Fox’s teenage thriller “Chronicle,” with $22 million), “Woman” still managed to impress, with a $20.9 million domestic debut.

Buoyed in part by positive reviews and popularity for star Daniel Radcliffe, “Woman” far outpaced the most recent debut perfs of horror pics during this same weekend: Last year’s “The Roommate” won its opening frame with $15 million, while “The Uninvited” came in at No. 3, grossing $10.3 million.

“Woman” benefited from a smaller dropoff on Super Bowl Sunday, dipping 69%. That’s compared to “Roommate” and “Uninvited,” which fell 75% and 73%, respectively.

The less-precipitous Saturday-to-Sunday fall for “Woman” (as well as for “Chronicle,” which fell 68%), are even more impressive considering Super Bowl XLVI between the Patriots and Giants became the most-watched telecast on record.

That’s good news for overall moviegoing — 2012 domestic box office is tracking a healthy 15% ahead of last year.

With four wide releases bowing Feb. 10, all of which looking to do solid business (including Sony-Screen Gems’ “The Vow”), this year’s Stateside B.O. should continue to gain considerable yardage.

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