Massive congratulations to all the good folks over at Hammer, as their chilling ghost story ‘The Woman in Black’ exceeded box office expectations to open in the no.2 spot in its three day opening weekend (Fri-Sun) in the US, grossing just over $21m. This is more than ‘Paranormal Activity’s’ opening weekend which grossed $19,617,650 in 2009 and ‘The Grudge 2′ which grossed $20,825,300 in 2006. Originally founded in 1934, legendary British film studio Hammer has delivered a hugely successful run of films over the years including ‘Dracula,’ ‘The Mummy,’  ‘Frankenstein Created Woman,’ ‘One Million Years B.C.’ and ‘The Vampire Lovers.’

Hammer’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s classic novel, starring Daniel Radcliffe, opened on almost  2855 screens with a per screen average of $7,356. This weekend’s three day gross makes ‘The Woman in Black’ the highest opening ever for a Hammer film in the US. ‘The Woman In Black is set for release this Friday (Febuary 10th) in the UK.

‘The Woman in Black,’ starring Daniel Radcliffe, is the iconic production company’s first ever feature ghost story. It is directed by James Watkins and adapted by Jane Goldman from the book by Susan Hill. The film is a Hammer, Alliance Films, The UK Film Council presentation, in association with Cross Creek Pictures. A Talisman production in association with Exclusive Media. Producers are Richard Jackson, Simon Oakes and Brian Oliver. Executive Producers are Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Tobin Armbrust, Marc Schipper, Neil Dunn, Xavier Marchand, Roy Lee and Tyler Thompson.

Commenting on the success of The Woman in Black, Simon Oakes, President & CEO of Hammer and Vice Chairman of Exclusive Media said: “We are delighted that The Woman in Black has performed so well. The fact that a gothic horror has attracted such a large audience on opening weekend shows the demand for elevated and intelligent genre films which Hammer aims to produce.”

Nigel Sinclair, CEO of Exclusive Media added: “This follows on a strong performance for Ides of March and reflects our commitment to great artists and great movies; I congratulate our partners CBS Alliance and of course Cross Creek pictures.”

Tobin Armbrust, President of Worldwide Production & Acquisitions of Exclusive Media, which is Hammer’s parent company, added: “We are thrilled to share in the success of The Woman in Black with our close family, Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Goldman, James Watkins and the entire cast and crew who all worked incredibly hard on this great project. Hammer is one of our key production brands and to see it embraced in the US is a great show of support for its production philosophy.”

The Woman in Black director James Watkins said: ‘I’m thrilled that a British ghost story, made with a British cast, crew and investment, is playing so well with American audiences.’

Not in production since the 1980s, Hammer marked their return to features in 2010 with the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Let Me In,’ an adaptation of the highly praised Swedish film ‘Låt den rätte komma in.’ The film was written and directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and stars Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road). In 2011, Hammer released Antti Jokinen’s ‘The Resident’ starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hammer legend Sir Christopher Lee, as well as the critically lauded ‘Wake Wood’ directed by David Keating and starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall.