Pitt puts Hugh Jackman in his place, though both could have done better business

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 17, 2004 08:00 AM

Good news for Trojans: The sword-and-sandal epic Troy, starring a buffed-up Brad Pitt, unseated the vampire-fighter epic Van Helsing, with the hunky Hugh Jackman, for this weekend’s box office crown.

Not that the news was entirely warrior-worthy. Troy, which is said to have cost $200 million, failed to clear the $50 million mark (as Van Helsing did the previous week), which a movie hyped to this extent should have, according to industry observers.

As for Van Helsing, though it came in at No. 2 this weekend, its business plummeted a perilous 61 percent.

By comparison, the Lindsay Lohan high school comedy Mean Girls continued its strong run and came in third, with a drop in business of only 26 percent, reports the Associated Press.

Another teen comedy, 13 Going on 30, with Jennifer Garner, fell only 28 percent to come in sixth. Even the Olsen twins bomb, New York Minute, fell by a relatively small 37 percent (seventh place).

“These are very minimal drops, which shows that the most consistent audience right now is young girls,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations Co., tells AP.

“There are teen guys in the theaters, too,” Dergarabedian adds. “But I’ll bet you it’s the female in the couple deciding which movie they go to see.”

The weekend’s Top 10, according to studio estimates, were as follows:

1. Troy, $45.6 million
2. Van Helsing, $20.1 million
3. Mean Girls, $10.1 million
4. Breakin’ All the Rules, $5.3 million
5. Man on Fire, $5.2 million
6. 13 Going on 30, $4.2 million
7. New York Minute, $3.7 million
8. Laws of Attraction, $2 million
9. Kill Bill – Vol. 2, $1.6 million
10. Godsend, $1 million