Monday, May 10, 2004

'Van Helsing' gets monster numbers

Box office

By Anthony Breznican
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein stomped the Olsen twins in the first major box-office contest of the summer season.

The monster-hunting adventure Van Helsing, starring Hugh Jackman as a creature slayer, opened at No. 1 with $54.2 million. The movie received a huge push from Universal, accompanied by a video game, an animated DVD prequel, and a Van Helsing haunted house at Universal Studios theme park.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's comedy New York Minute, a major test of the direct-to-video starlets' theatrical prowess as they near age 18, debuted in fourth place with $6.2 million - a weak showing compared to the popularity of teen comedies like 13 Going on 30 and Mean Girls.

New York Minute failed to build an older teen following. About 80 percent of the tickets went to girls under the age of 11, said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which released the film.

Top 10

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

1. Van Helsing, $54.2 million

2. Mean Girls, $14 million

3. Man on Fire, $7.9 million

4. New York Minute, $6.2 million

5. 13 Going on 30, $5.5 million

6. Laws of Attraction, $3.5 million

7. Kill Bill - Vol. 2, $3 million

8. Godsend, $2.7 million

9. Envy, $2.6 million

10. The Punisher, $1.2 million

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