'Lucy' Breaks Out with $43.9M; 'Hercules' Stronger than Expected with $29.8MJuly 28, 2014 12:34 PM

by Daniel Garris

Universal's Lucy exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong first place start of $43.89 million. The modestly budgeted sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson was no doubt helped out greatly by Johansson's rising drawing power on the heels of Captain America: The Winter Soldier earlier this year. In addition to Johansson's presence, Lucy was also likely helped out by being a non-sequel in a summer full of sequels, by the relatively soft overall box office thus far in July and by moviegoers potentially rushing out to see the film before Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theatres this coming Friday. Lucy debuted 22 percent stronger than the $36.01 million debut of Salt back in July of 2010.

Lucy debuted with $17.09 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.75 million from evening shows on Thursday), decreased 12 percent on Saturday to take in $15.02 million and fell 22 percent on Sunday to gross $11.79 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.57 to 1. The audience breakdown for Lucy was evenly split between genders and skewed towards moviegoers 25 years and older (65 percent). One potentially troubling sign for Lucy going forward is that the film received a disappointing C+ rating on CinemaScore. With that said, holding power won't be as important for the film going forward after such a strong opening weekend performance.

Hercules also exceeded expectations this weekend with a respectable second place take of $29.80 million. The Dwayne Johnson led 3D action-adventure film from Paramount and MGM had been expected to open in the range of $20 million to $25 million. In addition to Johnson's presence, Hercules was likely also aided by serving as a PG-13 alternative to the R rated Lucy and by the mentioned relatively soft overall box office thus far in July. Hercules opened 11 percent below the $33.46 million start of 2012's Wrath of the Titans.

Hercules grossed $11.06 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.1 million from evening shows on Thursday), fell 7.5 percent on Saturday to take in $10.23 million and fell just 17 percent on Sunday to gross $8.52 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.69 to 1. The film received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore. But much like Lucy, Hercules could potentially experience a sharp decline next weekend when the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in the marketplace.

Hercules grossed an estimated $4.0 million from IMAX locations, which represented 13.4 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend.

With the stronger than expected debuts of Lucy and Hercules, Fox's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took a sharper than expected fall this weekend with a third place take of $16.77 million. The critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi action sequel was down 54 percent from last weekend. Despite this weekend's hold, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues to exceed expectations with a 17-day gross of $172.46 million. That places the film an impressive 29 percent ahead of the $133.58 million 17-day take of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which fell 42 percent in its third weekend to gross $16.12 million).

Universal's The Purge: Anarchy fell a sharp 65 percent in its second weekend to land in fourth with $10.48 million. On the positive side of things, the horror sequel held up better in its second weekend than last year's The Purge did when it declined a harsh 76 percent in its second weekend to gross $8.32 million. With a healthy ten-day take of $51.86 million, The Purge: Anarchy is now running essentially on par with the $51.96 million ten-day take of The Purge.

Planes: Fire and Rescue rounded out the weekend's top five with $9.53 million. The modestly budgeted computer animated sequel from Disney was down a significant 46 percent from last weekend. Planes: Fire and Rescue has grossed $35.35 million in ten days. That places the film 22 percent behind the $45.34 million ten-day take of last year's Planes (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend to gross $13.39 million).

And So It Goes debuted in eighth place with $4.64 million. The Clarius Entertainment release starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton opened in line with its modest pre-release expectations. The opening weekend figure for And So It Goes was in the same ballpark as the $3.75 million debut of Clarius' Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return back in May. And So It Goes took in $1.36 million on Friday, increased 39 percent on Saturday to take in $1.89 million and decline 26.5 percent on Sunday to gross $1.39 million. That gave the film an impressive opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.41 to 1. And So It Goes received a B+ rating on CinemaScore.

On the limited front, Roadside's A Most Wanted Man debuted in tenth place with $2.69 million. The critically acclaimed thriller starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman earned a healthy per-location average of $7,442 from 361 locations for the frame.

Meanwhile, Open Road's The Fluffy Movie was off to a lackluster start with $1.31 million from 432 locations. That gave the comedy concert film starring Gabriel Iglesias a modest per-location average of $3,036 for the frame.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Jul. 9 - Sun, Jul. 11

Wide (1000+)

1Despicable Me$56,397,125--3,476--$16,225$56,397,1251Universal
2The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$31,708,438-51%4,4680$7,097$235,370,8152Summit
4Toy Story 3$21,015,958-31%3,753-275$5,600$339,240,8574Disney
5The Last Airbender$16,635,471-59%3,20334$5,194$99,712,7572Paramount
6Grown Ups$15,806,738-17%3,463-71$4,564$110,721,5313Sony / Columbia
7Knight and Day$7,719,251-26%2,628-476$2,937$61,808,1103Fox
8The Karate Kid (2010)$5,365,636-33%2,458-651$2,183$164,301,1245Sony / Columbia
9The A-Team$1,752,421-45%1,236-917$1,418$73,923,5945Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

1Cyrus$1,280,47065%200123$6,402$3,426,5454Fox Searchlight
2The Girl Who Played With Fire$904,998--108--$8,380$904,9981Music Box
3Get Him to the Greek$711,625-42%442-442$1,610$59,424,0556Universal
4I Am Love$503,008-5%11131$4,532$2,003,0594Magnolia
5Shrek Forever After$502,392-44%461-496$1,090$233,784,8978Paramount / DreamWorks
6Winter's Bone$456,4956%10623$4,307$2,512,4555Roadside Attractions
7Solitary Man$419,338-16%172-4$2,438$3,505,2798Anchor Bay
8Iron Man 2$392,755-38%333-189$1,179$309,237,29410Paramount
10Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time$348,308-50%275-325$1,267$89,004,4407Disney
11Letters to Juliet$336,221-59%241-99$1,395$51,726,0649Summit
12How to Train Your Dragon$317,923-7%254-49$1,252$216,893,96716Paramount / DreamWorks
13Robin Hood$287,925-12%300-78$960$104,494,8059Universal
15Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work$255,063-22%1154$2,218$2,000,5485IFC
16Sex and the City 2$208,711-45%156-199$1,338$94,701,6897Warner Bros. / New Line
17Date Night$188,5631%205-37$920$98,002,74614Fox
18Splice$131,698-22%20464$646$16,762,2086Warner Bros
19The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)$129,810-26%110-17$1,180$5,876,72013Sony Pictures Classics
20Please Give$125,392-27%100-45$1,254$3,691,42211Sony Pictures Classics
21Clash of the Titans (2010)$84,260-27%130-45$648$163,102,60015Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

1The Kids Are All Right$491,971--7--$70,282$491,9711Focus
2Hubble 3D$255,6113%531$4,823$10,272,71717Warner Bros. / IMAX
3The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)$150,597-22%91-18$1,655$9,335,53217Music Box
4I Hate Luv Storys$123,836--79--$1,568$748,3752UTV
5Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky$115,605-10%4743$2,460$764,7005Sony Pictures Classics
6Restrepo$93,59060%2515$3,744$265,4623National Geographic
7City Island$83,115-21%65-16$1,279$6,498,01017Anchor Bay
8Grease Sing-a-Long$60,759--12--$5,063$95,7691Paramount
9Under the Sea 3D$56,51726%130$4,347$22,816,25574Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Micmacs$56,388-7%45-5$1,253$945,2717Sony Classics
11Just Wright$53,480-1%80-15$669$21,416,3939Fox Searchlight
12Furry Vengeance$50,461-47%86-21$587$17,596,25611Summit
13Exit Through the Gift Shop$46,021-26%21-10$2,191$2,890,21513Producers Distribution Agency
14Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)$40,67328%1711$2,393$166,0383Sony Pictures Classics
15Jonah Hex$40,382-67%65-285$621$10,083,2394Warner Bros.
16Mother and Child$38,970-35%44-33$886$1,000,10110Sony Pictures Classics
18The Back-up Plan$36,432-30%61-36$597$37,447,76712CBS Films
20Diary of a Wimpy Kid$32,305-24%51-19$633$63,870,49717Fox
21A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)$28,805-29%53-57$543$63,059,65511Warner Bros. / New Line
22Harry Brown$28,718-49%33-12$870$1,758,63011Samuel Goldwyn
23South of the Border$23,370-33%71$3,339$111,0453Cinema Libre
24La Mission$22,112294%2520$884$1,034,96114Screen Media
25Breathless (2010 re-issue)$19,788389%42$4,947$192,9137Rialto
26The Last Song$18,889-43%41-38$461$62,933,79315Disney
27Love Ranch$17,945-59%8-3$2,243$109,6612E1 Entertainment
28Winnebago Man$16,469--2--$8,235$16,4691Kino International
30Stonewall Uprising$14,090227%106$1,409$84,9644First Run Features
31The Killer Inside Me$13,862-68%14-3$990$146,4444IFC Films
32God of Vampires$13,44029%8-2$1,680$32,0652Nocturnal Features
33Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto)$11,57260%90$1,286$608,19817Zeitgeist
34Metropolis (1927) (2010 re-issue)$8,716--4--$2,179$266,93810Kino International
35The City of Your Final Destination$8,480-48%10-4$848$456,56813Screen Media Films
36[REC] 2$8,191--5--$1,638$8,1911Magnolia
37Best Worst Movie$6,70496%10$6,704$72,50012Area23a
38Holy Rollers$6,197-44%5-8$1,239$294,07924First Independent Pictures
39Dogtooth (Kynodontas)$5,840--2--$2,920$27,8413Kino International
40Racing Dreams$5,529139%1-2$5,529$55,5898Hanover House
41Princess Kaiulani$5,500-1%61$917$846,7719Roadside Attractions
42Around a Small Mountain$5,326--1--$5,326$5,3261Cinema Guild
43The Oath$5,196--3--$1,732$38,86010Zeitgeist
44Mademoiselle Chambon$5,173--4--$1,293$172,9017Lorber
46In My Sleep$3,911--1--$3,911$28,84112Morning Star
47The Lottery$3,4326%20$1,716$46,8205Variance Films
48John Rabe$3,301232%31$1,100$50,0508Strand
49Cropsey$3,281229%32$1,094$33,7336Cinema Purgatorio
50The Secret of Kells$3,247-70%10-4$325$681,17119GKIDS
51The Square (2010)$3,080-41%50$616$400,87514Apparition
52Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$2,909-26%30$970$23,245,005145National Geographic
53The Joneses$2,455-7%21$1,228$1,474,50813Roadside Attractions
54Great Directors$2,418--2--$1,209$10,1062Paladin
55The Little Traitor$2,281--1--$2,281$366,10331Westchester Films
56The Nature of Existence$2,184-63%30$728$15,4034Walking Shadows
57Survival of the Dead$1,91457%2-2$957$101,0557Magnolia / Magnet
58Raajneeti$1,726--5--$345$1,514,5576UTV Communications
59OSS 117: Lost in Rio$1,288-45%2-1$644$84,28465Music Box
60The Cremaster Cycle (2010 re-issue)$1,214--1--$1,214$83,77914International Film Circuit
61Behind the Burly Q$1,174117%21$587$18,27712First Run Features
62Only the Brave (2010)$876-81%10$876$142,0607Indican Pictures
63Only When I Dance$820-62%10$820$4,8372Film Movement
64Kings of the Evening$738-72%10$738$80,12722Indican Pictures
65Sweetgrass$648-69%2-2$324$196,18942Cinema Guild
66Chloe$577-46%2-1$289$3,074,83816Sony Pictures Classics
67Everyone Else$562-83%1-2$562$75,44256Cinema Guild
68Le Amiche (2010 re-issue)$502-69%10$502$25,7714The Film Desk
69A Town Called Panic$403-58%10$403$163,18830Zeitgeist Films
70The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers$343--1--$343$453,33624First Run Features