"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 $35 million.
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 million.
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."