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'Woman in Black' success "amazing", says Hammer's Simon Oakes

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Hammer CEO Simon Oakes has said that he has been taken aback by the success of The Woman in Black in the US.

Daniel Radcliffe's horror film, which debuts in UK cinemas on Friday (February 9), posted an impressive $21 million opening Stateside over the Super Bowl weekend.

"It's amazing. I saw something online that said it's already in the all-time top ten Super Bowl weekend films ever," Oakes told Digital Spy. "It's unbelievable, actually. I think it's right up there with the top independent films ever."


'Hammer is a part of Exclusive Media

Oakes, who heads up the revived British production company Hammer, praised the movie's US distributor CBS Films for its "great marketing" of the ghost story. The Woman in Black is based on Susan Hill's 1983 horror fiction novel and the long-running stage production.

"They didn't overplay Daniel until the last week when he came in and did his stuff - his amazing bi-coastal interviews where he's flying all over the country," Oakes commented. "We basically only just lost out to Chronicle by about half-a-million dollars."

Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black
Oakes revealed that he had considered Radcliffe for the role of lawyer Arthur Kipps early on in the project's development. The Harry Potter star signed on after meeting with director James Watkins.

"James met with Daniel and it was quite an incredible meeting, I believe. James thought it was really intriguing. Could he play a father? Could he play Arthur Kipps?" he explained.

"I know Daniel loved the screenplay but he wanted to be convinced that he could do it, the director really wanted him to do it. The two of them met in America, both were very positive but with trepidation.

"They both came back from that meeting saying, 'It's great. We want to work together'."

> Chronicle, Woman in Black make strong US debuts

View Digital Spy's Woman in Black picture gallery below:

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