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Van Helsing

Release Date: May 7, 2004

It's a combination gun/moonshine still. Care for a shot?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
69/92 David Mumpower Van Helsing goes to show that even the best concept can be turned into one of the worst movies of all time.
113/126 Kim Hollis Awful music. Awful script. Awful acting. Just plain awful.

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For those unfamiliar with the name, Van Helsing is the vampire hunter who matches wits with Dracula in Bram Stoker's oft-adapted novel. With Universal's announcement that this film will be their tent-pole May release for 2004, it looks like the old man might just be in line for his very own action/adventure franchise.

Of course, old man is a relative term. Though the character from Stoker's novel and most of the Dracula film adaptations is, in fact, an elderly gent, it certainly appears that for this fanciful adaptation, audiences will be seeing a Van Helsing of the hunkiest sort. Hugh Jackman, perhaps better known as Wolverine, stars in the film and while purists may scoff at the notion of having someone so young and attractive playing the part, the idea is actually ingenious. If Van Helsing truly has amassed plenty of hours battling the undead, doesn't it make sense that he would have honed those skills as a young man?

Adding to the fun, our hero's encounters won't be limited to Dracula alone. Many of the classic Universal movie monsters will be featured, such as Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man. It seems our hero has been sent to a mysterious land in Eastern Europe to eliminate these evil forces, and once he arrives, finds that he will be assisted by the insanely hot Anna (Kate Beckinsale), whose family has long been committed to the destruction of the evil Dracula (Moulin Rouge's Richard Roxburgh). Even Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde will get some play in the tale.

Universal has found enormous success in reinventing one such monster - the Mummy - so it would seem that the perfect person to bring this terrific new concept to the screen is the writer/director of both Mummy films. Stephen Sommers is the screenwriter in addition to helming the project, so it's safe to say that he has a pretty good idea of how to capture the fancy of this particular audience. Depending on audience reaction to previews that have been appearing in theaters so far, the project looks to be on the precipice of being a blockbuster. While some have compared the footage to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (bad), others are drawn to the hero status of Jackman and the possibility of good monster movie fun. The concept is terrific, but Van Helsing isn't exactly a household name. (Kim Hollis/BOP)




Vital statistics for Van Helsing
Main Cast Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh
Supporting Cast Schuler Hensley, Elena Anaya, Silvia Colloca, David Wenham, Will Kemp, Josie Maran, Kevin J. O'Conno, Samuel West
Director Stephen Sommers
Screenwriter Stephen Sommers
Distributor Universal
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.vanhelsing.net/
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 3,574
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



Comparison films for Van Helsing
Title
Date
Opening
Adjusted Opening
Screens
PSA
Adj PSA
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Mult
Mummy Returns, The 5/4/0168.14 72.72 3401 20035.00 20566.9 202.01 215.60 2.96
Mummy, The 5/7/9943.37 51.68 3210 13511.00 15425.9 155.25 185.01 3.58
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade * 5/26/8937.03 55.96 2327 15913.00 23131.7 197.17 297.98 5.06
Scorpion King, The 4/19/0236.08 37.51 3444 10475.00 10475.0 90.34 93.92 2.50
Bram Stoker's Dracula 11/13/9230.52 44.34 2491 12252.00 17123.3 82.49 119.85 2.70
Dracula 2000 12/22/006.23 6.96 2204 2827.00 3042.0 33.00 36.91 3.82
Dracula: Dead and Loving It * 12/22/952.71 3.75 1425 1902.00 2536.0 10.66 14.77 3.93


     


 
 

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