Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, May 9: "Van Helsing" Slays Olsen Twins

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May 09, 2004 | 11:24am EDT

Van Helsing, starring Bram Stoker's fabled monster hunter, vanquished the wholesome twosome otherwise known as the Olsen Twins at the box office this weekend, debuting with a monstrous $54.2 million.

The period actioner trounced the puerile New York Minute--Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s big screen debut--which kicked off with a minor $6.2 million. The Dualstar darlings had hoped their new comedy would win over older teens, but it seems the comedy mostly managed to attract very young children--the same core fan base that fueled their ‘90s direct-to-video empire.

Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which released the film, told The Associated Press Sunday about 80 percent of the tickets went to girls under the age of 11. Despite the Olsen twins' whirlwind promotion for the film, it couldn’t top the edgy teen comedy Mean Girls, which came in second, or Man on Fire, which placed third, and it barely edged passed 13 Going on 30.

While both Van Helsing and New York Minute opened up to generally unfavorable reviews, Van Helsing, which stars Hugh Jackman as a vampire slayer, still managed to attract about half the moviegoing audience this weekend. And that's just the beginning.

"This is the opening salvo in the summer movie sweepstakes," Exhibitor Relations, Inc., president Paul Dergarabedian told the AP. "The summer season is the season of the opening weekend. You have to make your mark right then at the beginning, because the next weekend audiences are going to be looking for the next big thing."

This week, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $102.8 million, up 8.99 percent from last week's $94.3 million, and up 0.38 percent from last year's $102.4 million.

Last year, 20th Century Fox’s PG-13 rated actioner X2: X-Men United retained the No. 1 title in its second week with $40 million at 3,749 theaters with a $10,678 per theater average; Sony Pictures' PG rated comedy Daddy Day Care debuted in second with $27.6 million at 3370 theaters with a $8,197 per theater average; and Buena Vista's PG rated The Lizzie McGuire Movie came in third place in its second week with $7.2 million at 2,825 theaters with a $2,552 per theater average.

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES (Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Van Helsing (Universal, PG-13)

Gross: $54.2 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,575

Per-theater average: $15,165

No. 2: Mean Girls (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $14 million (-43%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 2,972 (+133)

Per-theater average: $4,711

Cume to date: $42.3 million

No. 3: Man on Fire (20th Century Fox, R)

Gross: $7.9 million (-47%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,846 (-140)

Per-theater average: $2,076

Cume to date: $56 million

No. 4: New York Minute (Warner Bros., PG)

Gross: $14 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,006

Per-theater average: $2,076

No. 5: 13 Going on 30 (Sony Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $5.5 million (-44%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,158 (-295)

Per-theater average: $1,742

Cume to date: $42.5 million

No. 6: Laws of Attraction (New Line Cinema, PG-13)

Gross: $3.4 million (-48%)

Weeks opened: 1

Theaters: 2,449 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $1,419

Cume to date: $11.8 million

No. 7: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Miramax, R)

Gross: $3 million (-48%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,952 (-722 theaters)

Per-theater average: $1,549

Cume to date: $57.7 million

No. 8: Godsend (Lions Gate, PG-13)

Gross: $2.7 million (-60%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,323 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $1,063

Cume to date: $11.3 million

No. 9: Envy (DreamWorks, PG-13)

Gross: $2.6 million (-58%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,445 (unchanged)

Per-theater average: $1,063

Cume to date: $10.1 million

No. 10: The Punisher (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $1.2 million (-66%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1.435 (-832)

Per-theater average: $836

Cume to date: $32.1 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Super Size Me (Roadside Attractions/Samuel Goldwyn Films/Showtime Independent Films, NR)

Gross: $536,936

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 41

Per-theater average: $13,096

Still We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie (ThinkFilm, PG)

Gross: $100,945

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 17

Per-theater average: $5,938

Valentin (Miramax, PG-13)

Gross: $13,000

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 2

Per-theater average: $6,500

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