'Lucy' Breaks Out with $44.0M; 'Hercules' Stronger than Expected with $29.0MJuly 27, 2014 08:54 AM

by Daniel Garris

Universal's Lucy exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong estimated first place start of $44.0 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 $17.1 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.75 million from evening shows on Thursday), decreased 12 percent on Saturday to take in $15.0 million and is estimated to fall 21 percent on Sunday to gross $11.9 million. That places the film's estimated 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 estimated second place take of $29.0 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 13 percent below the $33.46 million start of 2012's Wrath of the Titans.

Hercules grossed $11.08 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.1 million from evening shows on Thursday), fell 8 percent on Saturday to take in $10.24 million and is estimated to fall 25 percent on Sunday to gross $7.68 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.62 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 13.8 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 an estimated third place take of $16.40 million. The critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi action sequel was down 55 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 $172.09 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 67 percent in its second weekend to land in fourth with an estimated $9.9 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 $51.28 million, The Purge: Anarchy is now running just 1 percent behind the $51.96 million ten-day take of The Purge.

Planes: Fire and Rescue rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $9.3 million. The modestly budgeted computer animated sequel from Disney was down a significant 47 percent from last weekend. Planes: Fire and Rescue has grossed $35.12 million in ten days. That places the film 22.5 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 an estimated $4.55 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 is estimated to decline 31 percent on Sunday to gross $1.30 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.34 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 an estimated $2.72 million. The critically acclaimed thriller starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman earned a healthy per-location average of $7,527 from 361 locations for the frame.

Open Road's The Fluffy Movie was off to a lackluster start with an estimated $1.31 million from 432 locations. That gave the comedy concert film starring Gabriel Iglesias a modest per-location average of $3,042 for the frame.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Dec. 23 - Sun, Dec. 25

Wide (1000+)

1Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$29,556,629131%3,4483023$8,572$61,993,0902Paramount
2Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$20,270,555-49%3,7030$5,474$79,024,1772Warner Bros.
3The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$12,768,604--2,914--$4,382$21,145,0771Sony / Columbia
4Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$12,585,192-46%3,73411$3,370$49,525,3792Fox
5The Adventures of Tintin$9,720,993--3,087--$3,149$17,729,0161Paramount
6We Bought a Zoo$9,360,434--3,117--$3,003$9,818,9201Fox
7War Horse$7,515,402--2,376--$3,163$7,515,4021Disney / DreamWorks
8New Year's Eve$3,313,739-55%2,585-920$1,282$32,650,9343Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Darkest Hour$3,000,000--2,324--$1,291$3,000,0001Summit
10The Muppets$2,145,762-39%1,752-1056$1,225$75,702,2875Disney
12Arthur Christmas$2,073,319-42%1,804-1125$1,149$43,541,3215Sony / Columbia
13The Sitter$1,739,165-62%1,786-966$974$22,227,3673Fox
14The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$1,466,306-65%1,603-1355$915$270,268,2076Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

1The Descendants$2,073,371-37%813-65$2,550$32,364,9236Fox Searchlight
2Young Adult$1,746,450-49%9871$1,769$7,155,8983Paramount
3Don 2$1,673,704--161--$10,396$1,731,8381Reliance Big Entertainment
4The Artist$883,063207%167150$5,288$2,381,4935Weinstein Company
5My Week with Marilyn$561,097-5%602358$932$6,980,2935Weinstein Company
6Puss in Boots (2011)$410,577-12%389-368$1,055$143,661,7749Paramount / DreamWorks
7Happy Feet Two$219,513-80%535-1245$410$59,852,1556Warner Bros.
8Jack and Jill$185,706-85%385-1525$482$71,256,3257Sony / Columbia
9J. Edgar$142,139-63%455-248$312$36,054,4097Warner Bros.
10Tower Heist$137,255-85%283-1032$485$76,250,1708Universal
11Real Steel$136,96970%22772$603$83,962,78412Disney / DreamWorks
12Immortals$120,959-86%228-988$531$82,364,5817Relativity Media
13Moneyball$114,35251%242144$473$74,506,05914Sony / Columbia
14A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$111,972-36%24543$457$34,646,1588Warner Bros. / New Line
15Courageous$90,524-12%19291$471$33,684,29213Sony / TriStar
16Dolphin Tale$76,093-61%188-93$405$71,587,24914Warner Bros.
17In Time$44,941-72%131-142$343$36,867,9499Fox
18The Ides of March$44,098-3%14573$304$40,647,23112Sony / Columbia
19Footloose (2011)$42,762-65%182-71$235$51,437,38411Paramount
20Paranormal Activity 3$30,058-67%124-82$242$103,878,05710Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$717,45957%5539$13,045$1,819,0413Focus
2A Dangerous Method$197,23031%5841$3,401$993,4575Sony Pictures Classics
3Shame$123,574-60%50-1$2,471$1,530,9914Fox Searchlight
4Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$72,348--6--$12,058$72,3481Warner Bros.
5Pina$68,012--3--$22,671$68,0121IFC Films
6The Polar Express (2011 re-issue)$59,004-46%20-5$2,950$624,3465Warner Bros.
7Carnage (2011)$58,216-27%72$8,317$175,8712Sony Pictures Classics
8Melancholia$41,168-69%66-65$624$2,376,1487Magnolia Pictures
9Hubble 3D$33,770-7%15-5$2,251$30,166,13793Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Born to Be Wild 3D$32,178-44%490$657$14,876,31638Warner Bros. / IMAX
11The Way$27,270-66%27-66$1,010$4,052,91212Producers Distribution Agency
12Margin Call$20,911-79%30-91$697$5,186,35010Roadside Attractions
13The Help$19,974-72%65-91$307$169,410,75220Disney / DreamWorks
14In the Land of Blood and Honey$18,854--3--$6,285$18,8541FilmDistrict
15The Skin I Live In$14,886-71%34-37$438$2,991,66311Sony Pictures Classics
16Drive (2011)$11,879-72%26-30$457$34,787,20415FilmDistrict
17Midnight in Paris$11,450-79%28-88$409$56,334,39632Sony Pictures Classics
18Like Crazy$11,000-81%30-70$367$3,341,8679Paramount Vantage
19Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$9,8721%90$1,097$4,448,826853D Entertainment
20Under the Sea 3D$8,686-5%102$869$30,231,587150Warner Bros. / IMAX
21The Three Musketeers (2011)$8,207-84%37-86$222$20,358,12010Summit
22Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey$8,189-41%135$630$230,34210Submarine Deluxe
23My Reincarnation$6,15197%52$1,230$45,4489Long Shot Factory
24Martha Marcy May Marlene$6,088-72%18-21$338$2,889,38310Fox Searchlight
25The Women on the 6th Floor$5,883-69%6-6$981$443,00712Strand Releasing
26Take Shelter$5,192-81%24-34$216$1,652,61613Sony Pictures Classics
28The Lion King 3D$2,585-89%10-22$259$94,219,87115Disney
29Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$2,483215%54$497$841,18025International Film Circuit
30Miss Minoes (2011 re-issue)$1,901--3--$634$1,9011Music Box Films
31Addiction Incorporated$1,564-4%10$1,564$6,4422Variance Films
32Sleeping Beauty (2011)$1,556-66%3-1$519$33,9474IFC Films
33Eames: The Architect and the Painter$1,478-74%5-1$296$130,5076First Run Features
34Blackthorn$1,463-68%5-4$293$185,09912Magnolia Pictures
35The Guard$1,380-78%6-6$230$5,330,29422Sony Pictures Classics
36Mozart's Sister$1,260-87%3-7$420$676,37319Music Box Films
37Outrage$1,105-64%1-6$1,105$29,1504Magnolia / Magnet
38The Mill and the Cross$1,027-2%30$342$262,18815Kino Lorber
39Into the Abyss$939-85%3-14$313$221,4887IFC Films
40Rid of Me$833-50%10$833$7,2886Submarine Entertainment
41I Melt With You$77716%1-1$777$5,9903Magnolia Pictures
42Elite Squad: The Enemy Within$562-89%2-5$281$83,4727Variance Films
43El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$472-71%1-1$472$195,30722Alive Mind Cinema
44Higher Ground$455-46%52$91$837,57118Sony Pictures Classics
45Jane's Journey$397-60%21$199$21,54915First Run Features
46Young Goethe In Love$344-95%2-6$172$98,5458Music Box Films
47Crazy Wisdom$323-95%1-3$323$43,7425Alive Mind Cinema
48The Whale$290-72%10$290$58,72816Paladin
49Tyrannosaur$288--1--$288$15,7356Strand Releasing
50Inni$165-71%10$165$116,5639Cinema Purgatorio
51OKA!$100--1--$100$13,09911Dada Films