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IT'S SUMMERTIME!

May 7th, 2004

Finally, the summer season at the box office is starting. While it isn't until Memorial Day that Summer Official starts in the movie industry, the first full weekend in May has become increasingly important. This year doesn't look as strong as last year, but it still should be a mile above anything we saw in April.

There's no competition for Van Helsing at the box office this weekend; it's performance should, in fact, be compared to last year's X-Men United and not just because Hugh Jackman is in both. It is very unlikely Van Helsing will earn the more than $85 million X-Men United opened wit, partially due to the smaller opening, (3,574 to the record breaking 3,741) but more due to the lack of a built in audience and the weak reviews. Van Helsing has only been able to receive a meager 21% positive and a much lower figure from the cream of the crop. Compare that to 87% positive that X-Men earned and you can see it's no contest. Still, the poor reviews won't hurt it too bad, at least till the word of mouth starts, which will be on Friday. Look for $55 million this weekend, but not enough legs to match its more than $200 million combined budget.

Last week's champ will slip down a spot to second place, however, Mean Girls should have a good shot at matching last week's prediction. $13 million is a more reasonable goal; it should be noted with an additional $13 million its total will be within a rounding error of its total budget.

Opening in third spot should be New York Minute, the first theatrical release for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in nearly a decade. This is a huge test for the Olsen twins who have had most of their success with direct to video releases. Now you might be asking why the home video market wouldn't translate into box office success. The answer to that is simple, but a little delicate so you may want to skip to the end. Before I continue I want you to look up, "Olsen Twins Countdown" on Google. You'll get over 2600 hits, most of those are websites with clocks counting down the seconds till The Olsen Twins turn 18. And while the scary pervert men would be willing to anonymously buy DVDs on the Internet, I think they'll be less likely to go out in public to a theatre to see them. Reviews won't help expand their audience either, so look for $10 million this weekend, $25 million domestically and much better on the home market.

Running just behind should be Man on Fire with just over $9 million. If it manages to meet these expectations then that would be another sub-40% drop in the box office. And that's a very impressive feat, especially for this day and age.

Next up on our list is 13 Going On 30, which dropped faster than expected during its sophomore stint. This weekend it should drop less landing at $6 million.


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Filed under: X2, Van Helsing, Mean Girls, Man on Fire, New York Minute, 13 Going On 30