How did Van Helsing not finish under $50 million in its first weekend and cost half of the Universal staff their jobs? USA Today has a story on the time-worn studio strategy for counteracting negative buzz and horrible reviews: throwing piles of cash at the marketing budget. Van Helsing's promotional budget is rumored to be over $30 million. The article quotes Adam Fogelson, Universal's head of marketing, about VH's opening:
"It's on the very good end of what I was expecting."
Translation:"For what it cost, it's a borderline flop, but I'm probably not getting fired over it. My assistant is."
"Our tracking showed we had young and old, men and women. Kids who love the excitement and action of a PG-13 film and people in their 40s and 50s who remember the original monsters."
Translation: "Nobody really wanted to see it, so we got kids who are too stupid to know it's not a comic book or video game character. And adults looking to do anything instead of stay home and look at each other, listening to the sounds of their marriages disintegrating."