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Posted: Apr 24 2004, 03:24 PM
Member No.: 37
Joined: 26-February 04
Jackman may propel monster hit
Hugh Jackman conquered New York's Broadway with a pair of maracas in The Boy from Oz.
Next stop for Jackman: eradicating Count Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and Wolf Man, giving birth to a new film franchise and potentially making a billion-plus dollars for Universal Studios and America's top television network, NBC.
As the star of next month's adventure-horror film Van Helsing, Universal's great box office hope for 2004, Jackman is shouldering plenty of Hollywood expectations.
Two other Australians, Richard Roxburgh, as Count Dracula, and David Wenham, a monk, have lead roles, but it is Jackman's face plastered across Van Helsing billboards.
"There's pressure on Jackman because this could become a franchise of sorts and he would be at the centre of it," one of Hollywood's top box office trackers, Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, told AAP.
Jackman plays Dr Gabriel Van Helsing, a 19th Century monster slayer summoned to Eastern Europe to battle the likes of Dracula.
Universal has invested heavily in the special effects-filled movie, which reportedly cost $US150 million to make and an extra $US30 million to promote, including an expensive advertising slot during this year's Superbowl TV telecast in the US.
The film opens in Australia on May 6 and on May 7 in the US.
Brandon Gray, president of another leading US tracker, boxofficemojo.com, predicted a healthy first weekend opening for the film in the US.
"It's definitely a $US50 million-plus opener," Gray said.
If Van Helsing proves to be a gold mine for Universal, it will likely provide the launching pad for a series of Van Helsing films, as well as Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolf Man spin-off movies.
A Dracula spin-off could result in Roxburgh with his own film franchise.
NBC and Universal are also planning a TV series linked to the film titled, Transylvania.
Other money-making ventures tied to Van Helsing's box office performance include the DVD release of Universal's classic 1930s and 1940s monster movies, computer games and Gothic clothing lines.
"There's a tremendous amount of expectation placed on this film," Dergarabedian said.
"There's a ripple effect that's caused by a movie that's huge and that can really help the TV products and other products that are tied in with the movie."
The early buzz for Van Helsing points to Jackman, Universal and NBC hitting the jackpot.
The film's May 7 release date in the US is the most coveted spot on the American film release calendar.
Recent blockbusters to open in the US on the first Friday-Saturday-Sunday of May were X2: X-Men United last year, Spider-Man (2002), The Mummy Returns (2001), Gladiator (2000) and The Mummy (1999).
X2 made $US85.6 million on its opening weekend in the US, Spider-Man opened with $US114.844 million, The Mummy Returns ($US68.1 million), Gladiator ($US34.8 million) and The Mummy ($US43.37 million).
The writer-director of the two Mummy movies, American Stephen Sommers, wrote and directed Van Helsing.
"The first weekend in May is the opening salvo in the (US) summer movie sweepstakes and there's always a lot expected from the top-lining movie of that weekend," Dergarabedian added.
"Van Helsing is that film so there's a lot of expectation."
Sounds like this one is doing a lot better than Sahara....
This post has been edited by Marribiuz on Apr 24 2004, 03:26 PM
Posted: Apr 24 2004, 05:46 PM
Member No.: 13
Joined: 22-February 04
I've seen the trailers and the movie looks good ,though only time will tell if the trailers are better than the movie .
Posted: Apr 25 2004, 02:43 AM
Group: CCForum Member
Member No.: 34
Joined: 26-February 04
If anything, the movie looks like a version of the old Castlevania games for Nintendo. Which is a good thing, by my book!!
Posted: Apr 25 2004, 10:21 PM
Member No.: 37
Joined: 26-February 04
I thought CASTELVANIA sucked!! But glad you liked it.
Usually dont like this type of movies, but I might go see it. But with a limited budget, I think I might preffer to see TROY or Kill Bill Vol 2.
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