‘Van’ in the fast lane with $53 mil o’seas

'Helsing' slays competition worldwide

No doubt about it: “Van” is the man worldwide.

“Van Helsing” devoured an estimated $53 million on 5,000 screens in 41 countries over the weekend, smashing company records for Universal and its overseas arm UIP.

The monster pic rang up a projected $50.6 million in UIP’s markets plus $2.4 million in Russia, the Philippines and Iceland, where it’s handled by indies. That beat the bows of “The Mummy” ($46.4 million) and “The Mummy Returns” ($47.2 million), neither of which went out day-and-date, so comparisons are based on like-for-like territories. And it bettered UIP’s previous champ “Mission: Impossible 2,” which harvested $43.8 million in its opening weekend in 2000.

“We are delighted with these results, which are the culmination of a campaign that has lasted for over a year, in collaboration with the studio, filmmakers and the talent,” UIP prexy Andrew Cripps said Sunday.

‘Van’ dominates Blighty

Action-adventure’s stellar preems were led by the U.K.’s estimated $9.7 million on 460 prints, commanding 52% of the market, repping Universal’s second biggest opener locally behind “Love Actually.” Germany contributed $7.6 million on 735 (accounting for 51% of the market, 23% bigger than “The Mummy Returns” although 3% below “The Mummy”). Spain notched $5.1 million on 460, eclipsing “Hannibal” for a U record.

In relative terms, France wasn’t quite in the same league, posting $4.1 million on 632, level with the first “Mummy” and 24% up on the sequel.

Aussie thesps Hugh Jackman, Richard Roxburgh and David Wenham gave the pic a high profile Down Under, paying off with a superb $3.6 million on 226 (including Wednesday sneaks). Italy’s $3.5 million on 403 marked U’s third-biggest preem. Mexico’s $2.9 million on 344 repped the studio’s fifth best.

Other impressive scores included Taiwan’s $1.5 million, Brazil’s $850,000 on 200, Holland’s $820,000 on 94, Singapore’s $740,000 on 26 and Malaysia’s $445,000 on 38.

‘Mansion’ tops $100 mil

In Japan, where “Van Helsing” is slated for September, “The Haunted Mansion” reigned for its third consecutive weekend, drawing an estimated $3.8 million (off about 25%), spurring the territory total to $24.5 million. Family pic’s cume topped $100 million to become the third BVI hit to cross that milestone this year after “Finding Nemo” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”

Elsewhere, “50 First Dates” proved an attractive option for females not interested in the creature feature. Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore starrer added an estimated $4.4 million to its coffers from holdovers, elevating cume to $52.9 million. Romantic comedy’s lucrative tallies include the U.K.’s $12.9 million through its fifth frame, Germany’s $7 million after its third (easing by just 25%), Spain’s $2.8 million in its third and Australia’s $10.5 million.

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