'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, Nov. 30 - Sun, Dec. 2

Wide (1000+)

1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$17,416,362-60%4,008-62$4,345$254,598,8663Lionsgate / Summit
2Skyfall$16,555,894-53%3,463-63$4,781$245,585,0834Sony / Columbia
3Rise of The Guardians$13,388,852-44%3,67219$3,646$48,836,1052Paramount / DreamWorks
4Lincoln$13,376,696-48%2,0180$6,629$83,566,1694Disney / DreamWorks
5Life of Pi$12,151,853-46%2,9281$4,150$48,512,9942Fox
6Wreck-It Ralph$6,948,550-58%3,087-172$2,251$158,184,8135Disney
7Killing Them Softly$6,812,900--2,424--$2,811$6,812,9001Weinstein Company
8Red Dawn (2012)$6,500,245-54%2,78156$2,337$31,272,9532FilmDistrict
10The Collection$3,104,269--1,403--$2,213$3,104,2691LD Entertainment
11Argo$2,010,349-48%1,043-212$1,927$100,990,7668Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

1Silver Linings Playbook$3,090,131-30%3714$8,329$10,740,1123Weinstein Company
2Anna Karenina (2012)$2,245,570151%384318$5,848$4,106,9213Focus
3Talaash$1,637,833--174--$9,413$1,637,8331Reliance Entertainment
4Taken 2$467,975-51%496-267$943$137,163,5549Fox
5Pitch Perfect$387,070-46%403-89$960$63,099,24310Universal
6The Sessions$333,315-54%226-289$1,475$4,582,1817Fox Searchlight
7Cloud Atlas$243,338-42%194-64$1,254$26,181,4556Warner Bros.
8Here Comes the Boom$224,797-56%334-156$673$42,352,2508Sony / Columbia
9The Perks of Being A Wallflower$212,501-46%189-53$1,124$16,641,06011Lionsgate / Summit
10Looper$200,410-37%280-13$716$65,915,58510Sony / TriStar
11Hotel Transylvania$134,598-64%248-216$543$143,690,12310Sony / Columbia
12The Man With the Iron Fists$102,575-51%174-31$590$15,386,5205Universal
13Seven Psychopaths$101,54812%16280$627$14,778,0578CBS Films
15The Odd Life of Timothy Green$76,385-43%147-25$520$51,598,37116Disney
18Alex Cross$52,149-53%114-30$457$25,485,2257Lionsgate / Summit
19Ice Age: Continental Drift$51,840-34%102-7$508$160,884,06921Fox
20Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$51,618-49%124-66$416$17,466,1496Open Road
21Fun Size$48,466-42%116-28$418$9,362,6416Paramount
22House at the End of the Street$44,189-44%108-30$409$31,551,78811Relativity Media
23Trouble with the Curve$34,423-53%100-40$344$35,721,05911Warner Bros.
24Son of Sardaar$18,544-84%1090$170$760,3903Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Hitchcock$408,69242%5033$8,174$787,5742Fox Searchlight
2Back to 1942$105,702--20--$5,285$105,7021China Lion Film
3A Late Quartet$93,371-30%74-14$1,262$877,5255Entertainment One / RKO
4Finding Nemo 3D$76,315-26%79-5$966$40,749,90912Disney
5Hecho en Mexico$76,123--12--$6,344$76,1231Lionsgate / Pantelion
6The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$62,645-15%161$3,915$176,8492Warner Bros.
7The Other Son$57,864-27%405$1,447$877,9336Cohen Media Group
8A Royal Affair$57,591-37%41-3$1,405$373,0004Magnolia Pictures
9To the Arctic 3D$51,268-34%520$986$10,051,32133Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Searching For Sugar Man$46,570-23%5310$879$2,836,18719Sony Pictures Classics
11Chasing Mavericks$42,953-38%7919$544$5,832,0896Fox
12The Dark Knight Rises$40,865-42%80-28$511$448,093,79620Warner Bros.
13Sinister$40,556-56%88-39$461$47,769,8838Lionsgate / Summit
14Born to Be Wild 3D$40,30224%300$1,343$21,432,24487Warner Bros. / IMAX
15Holy Motors$35,242-23%254$1,410$332,5107Indomina Releasing
16Hubble 3D$34,339-38%193$1,807$35,305,155142Warner Bros. / IMAX
17The Central Park Five$33,1488%74$4,735$77,0402IFC Films
18Paranormal Activity 4$26,137-51%70-38$373$53,717,9097Paramount
20Rust and Bone$24,738-9%20$12,369$65,0592Sony Pictures Classics
21The Flat$24,487-16%19-2$1,289$386,4147IFC Films
22End of Watch$22,715-29%24-10$946$39,226,46311Open Road
23Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$22,478-43%52-7$432$48,963,55918Fox
24Arbitrage$20,097-40%35-13$574$7,851,04412Roadside Attractions
25The Master$17,403-41%23-2$757$15,873,23312Weinstein Company
26Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$13,553-26%12-3$1,129$912,84011IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
27Beware of Mr. Baker$12,195--1--$12,195$16,7481SnagFilms
28The Waiting Room$11,477--5--$2,295$159,52410International Film Circuit
30Starlet$10,402126%93$1,156$55,9564Music Box Films
31Silent Night$9,679--11--$880$9,6791Anchor Bay Films
32Wuthering Heights (2012)$8,936325%104$894$96,8899Oscilloscope
33The Intouchables$8,57711%19-7$451$13,043,10528Weinstein Company
34The Thieves$7,772792%21$3,886$673,0758Well Go USA
35This Must Be the Place$6,584-57%7-1$941$128,3985Weinstein Company
36Brooklyn Castle$6,131-62%4-4$1,533$175,9717Producers Distribution Agency
37The Big Picture (2012)$6,11637%42$1,529$142,3878MPI Media
38The Loneliest Planet$5,406-29%103$541$116,6176IFC Films
39Young & Wild$3,798--2--$1,899$3,7981IFC Films
40Smashed$3,710-72%15-15$247$338,2478Sony Pictures Classics
41Under the Sea 3D$3,602-42%8-1$450$32,461,251199Warner Bros. / IMAX
42California Solo$3,412--1--$3,412$3,4121Strand Releasing
43Masquerade (2012)$3,395-81%3-2$1,132$895,12311CJ Entertainment
44Just 45 Minutes from Broadway$3,322--2--$1,661$80,1489Rainbow Releasing
45Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning$3,181--3--$1,060$3,1811Magnolia / Magnet
46Somewhere Between$2,83234%20$1,416$164,32715Long Shot Factory
47The Imposter$2,115-57%2-3$1,058$898,31721Indomina Releasing
48The House I Live In$1,84089%10$1,840$168,8899Abramorama
49Grand Illusion: 75th Anniversary Restoration$1,75189%10$1,751$172,88530Rialto Pictures
50Kumare$1,567-29%10$1,567$129,55224Kino Lorber
51Now, Forager$1,558918%43$390$6,7029Argot Pictures
5328 Hotel Rooms$1,002-30%30$334$16,0174Oscilloscope
54Chicken With Plums$765-77%7-3$109$252,51916Sony Pictures Classics
55Keep the Lights On$70161%31$234$239,28213Music Box Films
56Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters$490-69%2-1$245$25,8715Zeitgeist Films
57Dangerous Liaisons (2012)$480-89%1-3$480$53,7554Well Go USA
58All Together$458--1--$458$35,6137Kino Lorber / Tribeca Film
59Celeste and Jesse Forever$360414%21$180$3,093,80218Sony Pictures Classics
60Wake in Fright (2012 re-issue)$358-58%2-1$179$44,1869Drafthouse Films
61The Well-Digger's Daughter$268-89%1-1$268$370,25420Kino Lorber
62Radio Unnameable$243-33%10$243$19,49811Kino Lorber
63Alps$114--1--$114$15,75921Kino Lorber
64Girl Model$62--1--$62$21,15413First Run Features