Dracula took a big bite out of the Olsens at the box office this weekend, but he had the Wolf Man, Frankenstein and Hugh Jackman along to help him.
As was widely anticipated, the horror-hunting adventure Van Helsing had a monster opening, so big that it blew away established video stars Mary-Kate and Ashley’s first major movie vehicle, New York Minute.
While Van Helsing pulled in $54.2 million, the Olsen mishap opened a poor fourth with $6.2 million, finishing well behind second-place Mean Girls, with Lindsay Lohan, and third-ranked Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington.
“This is the opening salvo in the summer movie sweepstakes,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations Co., tells the Associated Press about the huge opening for Van Helsing.
The film is still not the biggest first weekend for writer-director Stephen Sommers, whose The Mummy Returns fared better ($68.1 million) in 2001.
As for the Olsens, their comedy failed to find an older teen audience beyond the twins’ core fan base of very young children. About 80 percent of the tickets went to girls under the age of 11, Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman tells AP. (Warners, like PEOPLE, is part of Time Warner.)
Monday will no doubt bring a double celebration in Jackman’s Greenwich Village apartment. Besides having the No. 1 movie this weekend, the hunky Aussie, 35, is expected to land a Tony nomination – and be the odds-on favorite to win – for his all-star turn in the Broadway musical The Boy from Oz.
The Top 10 box-office hits this weekend, according to studio estimates, were as follows:
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