Van Helsing: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal's Van Helsing staked out a prominent place at the boxoffice this weekend as the high-profile monster mash debuted with a worldwide gross of an estimated $107.2 million.

The Stephen Sommers-directed horror-actioner scared up a domestic gross of an estimated $54.2 million to easily claim the top spot, while the international cume rose to an estimated $53 million from 41 countries and more than 5,000 screens, marking an international best for UIP and Universal.

The North American debut for the Hugh Jackman starrer was the fourth-highest opening ever for the first weekend in May, which in the past few years has become the premier launching point for presummer tentpoles. Out of the top five openers on that weekend, Sommers' directing credit now resides on three of them: Universal's "The Mummy Returns" ($68.1 million), "Van Helsing" and "The Mummy" ($43.4 million). Sony's "Spider-Man" ($114.8 million) holds the top spot as well as the biggest opening in boxoffice history, and 20th Century Fox's "X2: X-Men United" ($85.6 million) is the second biggest on the first session in May.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.