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From AP Movie

Emma Caulfield

’Darkness Falls’ to No. 1 at Box Office

By David Germain

Monday 27 January 2003, by Webmaster

The horror flick "Darkness Falls," about a vengeful spirit tormenting the town that lynched her, scared up $12.5 million in its opening weekend to debut as the No. 1 movie.

"Darkness Falls" benefited from a slow weekend in which it was the only wide-release debut. It stars Emma Caulfield (news) of TV’s "Buffy the Vampire Slayer (news - Y! TV)" as a woman battling a ghost-hag that’s slicing and dicing people in her town.

Horror movies typically do well in their first weekend as fans of the genre turn out in big numbers, but business tends to drop off steeply in subsequent weeks. With a tight $11 million budget, though, "Darkness Falls" will turn a solid profit, said Tom Sherak, a partner at Revolution Studios, which produced the movie for distributor Sony.

Like last year’s horror hit "The Ring," a PG-13 rating might give "Darkness Falls" more staying power than fright flicks with an R rating, Sherak said.

"PG-13 is a little bit broader than the hard Rs," said Sherak, whose son, William, made his debut as a producer on "Darkness Falls." "It’s the kind of horror movie that people felt safe in bringing younger kids to."