“Mean Girls” ruled at the multiplex over the weekend. The Lindsay Lohan flick
about high school girls who live to dis debuted at #1 with an estimated $25
million take. The movie, written by “Saturday Night Live” head writer Tina Fey, had
enough venom to overpower last week’s top dog, Denzel Washington’s gritty
kidnapping revenge flick, “Man on Fire,” which slipped a notch on $15.2 million.
Jennifer Garner’s first starring role, in the body-switch comedy “13 Going on
30,” also dropped a notch, to #3 with $10 million. The “Alias” star’s
headlining splash lost more than 50 percent of its audience, but has already taken in
The Julianne Moore/ Pierce Brosnan romantic comedy “Laws of Attraction” opened
at #4 on $7 million, followed by two other newcomers, the Robert De Niro
cloning thriller, “Godsend,” with $6.9 million, and the Ben Stiller/ Jack Black
comedy, “Envy,” with $6.1 million.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 2″ took a four-spot tumble to #7 in
its third week in theaters, earning $5.8 million, for a to-date total of $52
He has top billing in one of the biggest surprise successes in Hollywood
history, but “The Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel’s career doesn’t seem
to have gotten the immediate boost you’d expect. His follow-up to Mel
Gibson’s religious epic, the golf biography “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius” — which
opened on half as many screens as “Mean Girls” — debuted at #16 with $1.3
million, finishing one slot behind “The Passion.”
Rounding out the top 10 are “The Punisher” at #8 with $3.4 million, “Home on
the Range” at #9 with $2.2 million and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” at
#10 with $2.1 million.
After almost two months of rising returns, the lack of huge films opening
sent the box office skidding, with overall numbers ($90.5 million) down nearly 36
percent from the same weekend last year.
Friday marks the beginning of the summer blockbuster season with the release
of the $150-plus million Hugh Jackman monster slayer movie “Van Helsing.” As
huge as Dracula, Frankenstein and the rest of the horror bunch could be, don’t
underestimate the week’s other 800-pound gorilla, the latest flick from
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, “New York Minute.”
For a feature on “Mean Girls,” check out “Tina Fey: Positively Mean.”