'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, Jan. 18 - Sun, Jan. 20

Wide (1000+)

2Zero Dark Thirty$15,797,612-35%2,9469$5,362$54,142,3695Sony / Columbia
3Silver Linings Playbook$10,752,836114%2,5231713$4,262$54,712,10610Weinstein Company
4Gangster Squad$8,640,540-49%3,1030$2,785$31,750,6002Warner Bros.
5Broken City$8,268,908--2,620--$3,156$8,268,9081Fox
6A Haunted House$8,170,023-55%2,1600$3,782$29,783,2002Open Road
7Django Unchained$7,755,800-30%2,516-496$3,083$137,874,5354Weinstein Company
8Les Miserables (2012)$7,491,995-22%2,579-348$2,905$130,050,0154Universal
9The Last Stand$6,281,433--2,913--$2,156$6,281,4331Lionsgate
10The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$6,176,941-33%2,323-689$2,659$287,166,6826Warner Bros. / New Line
11Lincoln$5,475,263-14%2,174147$2,519$160,611,34211Disney / DreamWorks
12Parental Guidance$4,252,418-30%2,337-620$1,820$66,277,5724Fox
13Life of Pi$3,351,62524%1,256499$2,668$99,188,9309Fox
14Jack Reacher$2,237,947-54%1,707-1000$1,311$76,415,2805Paramount
15This is 40$2,032,805-54%1,232-1088$1,650$64,913,8055Universal
16Wreck-It Ralph$1,302,47498%1,312836$993$180,809,77812Disney
17Texas Chainsaw 3D$1,269,949-76%1,474-1185$862$33,462,8873Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

1The Impossible$2,476,238-2%88678$2,795$10,192,8035Lionsgate / Summit
2Argo$2,262,94780%756135$2,993$114,784,50115Warner Bros.
3Skyfall$969,241-38%507-316$1,912$300,856,31511Sony / Columbia
4Monsters, Inc. 3D$752,545-56%565-562$1,332$31,693,0605Disney
5The Guilt Trip$605,194-68%642-964$943$35,697,7785Paramount
6Rise of The Guardians$560,742-47%474-431$1,183$99,497,1059Paramount / DreamWorks
7Hyde Park on Hudson$419,693-30%194-52$2,163$4,861,2267Focus
8Hotel Transylvania$364,3433%237-15$1,537$147,078,98117Sony / Columbia
9The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$333,772-49%306-236$1,091$290,713,79510Lionsgate / Summit
11Rust and Bone$223,76520%16889$1,332$1,461,3079Sony Pictures Classics
12Red Dawn (2012)$215,05299%24924$864$44,287,9909FilmDistrict
13Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$214,958-53%265-165$811$12,164,9645Paramount
14Here Comes the Boom$198,237-7%209-19$949$44,646,00215Sony / Columbia
15Anna Karenina (2012)$164,220-29%117-27$1,404$12,234,11410Focus
16Promised Land (2012)$122,042-90%134-1513$911$7,534,1284Focus
17Taken 2$105,395-28%156-34$676$139,653,87116Fox
19Pitch Perfect$69,365-32%125-29$555$64,896,59317Universal
20Hitchcock$68,735-27%122-5$563$5,773,9909Fox Searchlight
21Dabangg 2$1,107-72%1660$7$2,505,3475Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Amour$373,58645%3621$10,377$1,145,2815Sony Pictures Classics
2Quartet$304,263546%3230$9,508$376,3402Weinstein Company
3Beasts of the Southern Wild$149,9692266%7167$2,112$11,455,00530Fox Searchlight
4LUV$83,194--45--$1,849$83,1941Indomina Media
5To the Arctic 3D$73,6236%520$1,416$10,860,83140Warner Bros. / IMAX
6The Perks of Being A Wallflower$51,430-23%73-27$705$17,659,36918Lionsgate / Summit
7Hubble 3D$51,42636%171$3,025$35,989,914149Warner Bros. / IMAX
8A Royal Affair$49,334291%389$1,298$751,59511Magnolia Pictures
9The Sessions$43,360-25%628$699$5,793,78514Fox Searchlight
10Born to Be Wild 3D$32,37935%300$1,079$21,774,36094Warner Bros. / IMAX
1156 Up$32,03581%42$8,009$91,5013First Run Features
12Cloud Atlas$29,838-59%58-104$514$27,093,69613Warner Bros.
13Searching For Sugar Man$29,35412%275$1,087$3,135,74626Sony Pictures Classics
14Ice Age: Continental Drift$22,734-20%40-8$568$161,269,08728Fox
15A Late Quartet$18,868-38%14-3$1,348$1,444,79812Entertainment One / RKO
16Space Station 3D$18,06037%42$4,515$87,004,334562IMAX
17Playing For Keeps (2012)$17,773-45%58-49$306$12,935,5097FilmDistrict
18The Master$17,426-21%14-2$1,245$16,044,36119Weinstein Company
19Deep Sea 3D$14,66633%41$3,667$45,308,573360Warner Bros. / IMAX
20The House I Live In$12,551435%53$2,510$199,25416Abramorama
21The Rabbi's Cat$10,333--7--$1,476$17,3137GKIDS
22Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$8,29334%70$1,185$984,20418IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
23West of Memphis$7,962182%97$885$55,8064Sony Pictures Classics
24Not Fade Away$6,937-83%56-121$124$605,7475Paramount Vantage
25Killing Them Softly$6,270-66%12-19$523$14,953,9868Weinstein Company
26Somewhere Between$6,108-1%32$2,036$203,55322Long Shot Factory
27Under the Sea 3D$5,64849%74$807$32,513,828206Warner Bros. / IMAX
28Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation$5,530--1--$5,530$5,5301Kino Lorber
29Any Day Now$5,203-42%7-8$743$157,8136Music Box Films
30Let My People Go!$3,59461%32$1,198$7,0832Zeitgeist Films
31Brief Reunion$3,085--2--$1,543$3,0851Striped Entertainment
32Robot & Frank$2,311-82%10-16$231$3,324,42823IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
33The Waiting Room$2,077293%32$692$179,33817International Film Circuit
345 Broken Cameras$1,777--1--$1,777$77,38434Kino Lorber
35Orchestra of Exiles$1,640--1--$1,640$26,35013First Run Features
36Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters$1,512-66%1-1$1,512$42,82212Zeitgeist Films
37The Invisible War$1,361--4--$340$64,01031Cinedigm
38Deadfall (2012)$1,322812%21$661$65,8047Magnolia Pictures
39Brooklyn Castle$1,292-41%31$431$207,71214Producers Distribution Agency
40Django (2012 re-issue)$1,181222%20$591$20,3525Rialto Pictures
41Officer Down$1,061--1--$1,061$1,0611Anchor Bay Films
42Wagner & Me$1,058-35%1-1$1,058$31,8857First Run Features
43The Law in These Parts$748--1--$748$11,97610Cinema Guild
44Nothing But a Man (2012 re-issue)$566-2%10$566$7,74011APD/Cinema Conservancy
45A Dark Truth$424-78%1-2$424$4,4423Magnolia Pictures
46California Solo$294-81%10$294$15,3288Strand Releasing
47The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez$205-20%10$205$6,8597Indican Pictures
48North Sea Texas$75--1--$75$25,59312Strand Releasing
49Storage 24$72--1--$72$721Magnolia / Magnet
50Neighboring Sounds$32--1--$32$48,00622Cinema Guild