View Full Version : 'Van Helsing' Hits $107 Million Worldwide

09-05-04, 22:00
By Dean Goodman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Van Helsing" may have sucked the life out of critics, but the costly vampire thriller enjoyed a lively start at the North American box office as the lucrative summer movie-going season began over the weekend.

The special-effects extravaganza sold $54.2 million worth of tickets in its first three days, its distributor, Universal Pictures, said on Sunday. The film cost $160 million to make, Universal said, with upward of $50 million to market it.

The opening fell within the studio's broad expectations, and it forecast "Van Helsing" will hit $100 million in its second weekend. That could be a tall order given that its big summer movie last year, "The Hulk," barely made that level with the benefit of a $62 million opening during school vacation.

Rival studios said any opening above $50 million was good, though some noted that pre-release surveys had indicated "Van Helsing" could open above $60 million.

Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said the opening was "great," and her barometer was "Van Helsing" writer/director Stephen Sommers' hit movie "The Mummy," which opened with $43 million in the same weekend of May 1999. (Average ticket prices have risen almost 20 percent since then, according to the National Assn. of Theater owners.)

A Universal spokesman said the film also earned $53 million from 41 international territories, including No. 1 bows in Britain ($9.7 million), Germany ($7.6 million), Spain ($5.1 million), Australia ($3.6 million) and Mexico ($2.9 million).


"Van Helsing" revolves around the titular vampire-slayer (played by Hugh Jackman) and a Transylvanian beauty (Kate Beckinsale), with Dracula, his three brides, Frankenstein's Monster and Wolf Man rounding out the cast.

Critics were appalled, offering such comments as "hate at first bite" (Wall Street Journal), "monstrous overkill" (Orlando Sentinel), "howlingly knuckle-headed" (Toronto Star) and "numbingly hyperactive" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Countered Rocco, "Stephen Sommers makes popcorn movies. He makes rollercoaster rides."

Universal Pictures, currently a unit of Vivendi Universal SA, is in the process of being sold to General Electric Co .

The top-10 contained one other new release, "New York Minute," a caper starring teen moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. It opened at No. 4 with a lowly $6.2 million.

"We are a bit disappointed ... but not discouraged," said Dan Fellman, president of distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures. The film was budgeted in the $30 million range. Warner Bros. is a unit of Time Warner Inc .

Last weekend's champion, the Lindsay Lohan teen comedy "Mean Girls," fell to No. 2 with $14.0 million, taking its 10-day total to $42.4 million. It was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc .

The Denzel Washington kidnap thriller "Man on Fire" followed at No. 3 with $7.9 million, and a three-week haul of $56.1 million. It was released by Twentieth Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment Group Inc .

The Jennifer Garner romantic comedy "13 Going on 30" rounded out the top-five with $5.5 million, and a three-week tally of $42.6 million. It was released by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.

In the limited-release world, the highlight was "Super Size Me," a documentary in which rookie filmmaker Morgan Spurlock risks his life to eat fast food from McDonald's Corp exclusively for a month. Playing in eight cities, the low-budget film earned a tasty $537,000, said a spokesman for its closely held distributors, Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films. It expands to the top 20 markets next weekend.

09-05-04, 22:11
Has anyone seen this yet? (Van Helsing, not the Big Mac muncher!)

09-05-04, 22:12
Originally posted by RobBo:
Has anyone seen this yet? (Van Helsing, not the Big Mac muncher!)No i havent, but i definately want to see it soon http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

09-05-04, 22:17
This is a good year for movies, Van Hals, Troy, Harry Potter...!

09-05-04, 23:08
Tried to see it Saturday night with two of my daughters (convinced them they would enjoy it) and it was sold out :( . I normally book in advance, but this was just spur or the moment. Oh well, try again next week.

10-05-04, 00:14
This was possibly the worst movie I have seen in a LONG time. Hugh was terrible. Kate was worse http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yuck.gif . And David Wenham, once a favourite of mine, was worse then pathetic. Worst movie of the year. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/forums/icons/icon13.gif