Van Helsing Out to Slay at Box Office

After reviving Universal’s classic Mummy franchise with a pair of summer blockbusters, writer/director Stephen Sommers is at it again, this time taking on Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster, with a little Mr. Hyde thrown in for good measure. Charged with the task of keeping the Drac pack in line is Bram Stoker’s famous monster hunter in Universal’s CG-heavy Van Helsing. It opens today.

Featuring a smorgasbord of visual effects by ILM, Hatch FX, Illusion Arts and CIS, Van Helsing promises to deliver same kind of rollercoaster thrills and chills that had moviegoers flocking to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. The film stars X-Men’s Hugh Jackman as Gabriel Van Helsing (yes that’s right, Universal “Henry Frankenstein” Pictures changed the name from Abraham), who travels to Eastern Europe to rid the world of an ancient evil with the help of the beautiful but deadly Anna, played by Pearl Harbor’s Kate Beckinsale.

Despite mostly negative reviews, Van Helsing should make a ton of money and win the girls-versus-ghouls showdown as it goes up against fellow newcomer New York Minute, starring the Olsen twins, and holdovers Mean Girls and 13 Going on 30. Also opening today is the fast-food documentary Super Size Me from Morgan Spurlock, who won the Director Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Warner Bros.’ animated prequel Van Helsing: The London Assignment arrives on home video Tuesday, May 11. Watch this site for more information on that release and read about Vivendi Universal’s Van Helsing video game in the May issue of Animation Magazine. Also look for our June cover story on Van Helsing.