'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, Mar. 21 - Sun, Mar. 23

Wide (1000+)

1Divergent$54,607,747--3,936--$13,874$54,607,7471Lionsgate / Summit
2Muppets Most Wanted$17,005,126--3,194--$5,324$17,005,1261Disney
3Mr. Peabody & Sherman$11,832,558-46%3,607-344$3,280$81,134,9423Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4300: Rise of an Empire$8,504,075-56%3,085-405$2,757$93,592,1943Warner Bros.
5Need For Speed$7,941,631-55%3,1150$2,549$30,565,5142Disney / DreamWorks
6Non-Stop (2014)$6,434,825-39%2,945-238$2,185$78,709,5554Universal
7The LEGO Movie$4,149,244-46%2,501-539$1,659$243,385,9187Warner Bros.
8Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club$3,103,057-62%1,8960$1,637$12,913,0812Lionsgate
9Son of God$2,719,425-51%2,139-851$1,271$55,669,0734Fox
10Frozen (2013)$735,601-66%1,069-397$688$397,744,86218Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

1God's Not Dead$9,217,043--780--$11,817$9,217,0131Freestyle / Pure Flix
2The Grand Budapest Hotel$6,787,95587%304238$22,329$12,998,4743Fox Searchlight
3The Monuments Men$951,149-54%938-656$1,014$75,684,8757Sony / Columbia
4Ride Along$627,355-54%650-374$965$133,120,35510Universal
53 Days to Kill$587,885-66%752-814$782$29,733,5275Relativity Media
6Veronica Mars$468,175-76%34756$1,349$2,832,9192Warner Bros.
712 Years a Slave$439,762-64%522-403$842$56,030,34723Fox Searchlight
8The Nut Job$336,447-30%335-70$1,004$62,600,84010Open Road
9American Hustle$232,315-62%281-222$827$149,806,72115Sony / Columbia
10RoboCop (2014)$228,411-73%328-637$696$57,082,5996Sony / Columbia
11Gravity$225,092-59%202-118$1,114$273,089,37525Warner Bros.
12Philomena$207,666-51%297-205$699$37,089,37118Weinstein Company
13The Wind Rises$204,350-53%150-155$1,362$4,689,1095Disney
14About Last Night$201,594-70%214-410$942$48,267,7646Sony / Screen Gems
15The Wolf of Wall Street$192,237-53%215-71$894$116,688,94313Paramount
16Tim's Vermeer$156,478-22%12920$1,213$1,242,8328Sony Pictures Classics
17Dallas Buyers Club$148,465-60%178-103$834$27,065,80921Focus
18Lone Survivor$141,370-47%211-105$670$124,810,30113Universal
19The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$135,467-45%224-53$605$258,039,17615Warner Bros. / New Line
20Pompeii$125,797-79%201-470$626$22,814,0305Sony / TriStar
21The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$114,898-44%211-57$545$424,532,47818Lionsgate
22Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$85,315-36%128-24$667$50,426,42810Paramount
23August: Osage County$62,169-41%141-62$441$37,601,05213Weinstein Company
24Winter's Tale$37,87889%14494$263$12,556,1576Warner Bros.
25Shaadi Ke Side Effects$3,579-69%1080$33$920,1264Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Bad Words$505,044346%8781$5,805$660,8172Focus
3The Lunchbox$183,986107%3618$5,111$525,3634Sony Pictures Classics
4Nymphomaniac: Volume I$158,369--25--$6,335$158,3691Magnolia Pictures
5Le Week-End$136,008212%2522$5,440$200,1882Music Box Films
6Journey to the South Pacific$122,746-1%170$7,220$1,422,53117IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
7Jerusalem 3D$101,493-9%27-2$3,759$3,196,32427National Geographic
8Particle Fever$78,999-12%217$3,762$316,8443Abramorama / Bond 360
950 to 1$78,480--19--$4,131$78,4801Ten Furlongs
10That Awkward Moment$71,309-45%93-29$767$25,974,3108Focus
11Her (2013)$70,572-53%73-48$967$25,377,94214Warner Bros.
12On My Way$53,006403%2019$2,650$70,3282Cohen Media Group
13Hubble 3D$50,619-10%171$2,978$43,043,004210Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Saving Mr. Banks$49,758-35%76-31$655$83,201,60415Disney
15Anita (2014)$44,114--7--$6,302$44,1141IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
16The Great Beauty$41,645-58%45-29$925$2,716,62819Janus Films
17Gloria (2014)$41,100-50%50-25$822$1,983,5159Roadside Attractions
18Jodorowsky's Dune$36,018--3--$12,006$36,0181Sony Pictures Classics
19The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$27,010-52%63-25$429$58,162,21713Fox
20Blood Ties$26,912--28--$961$26,9121Roadside Attractions
21Repentance$24,929-76%43-83$580$1,179,3274Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
22Thor: The Dark World$24,449-52%59-41$414$206,287,71320Disney
23A Birder's Guide to Everything$21,602--8--$2,700$21,6021Screen Media / Focus World
24Walking With Dinosaurs$21,495-43%59-39$364$36,020,02214Fox
25Cheap Thrills$18,638--2--$9,319$18,6381Drafthouse Films
26The Book Thief$16,469-44%31-16$531$21,431,88620Fox
27Rob the Mob$13,833--1--$13,833$13,8331Millennium Entertainment
28Vampire Academy$12,957269%3523$370$7,773,3527Weinstein Company
29To the Arctic 3D$12,601-7%124$1,050$13,910,227101Warner Bros. / IMAX
30The Invisible Woman$12,29611%16-2$769$1,194,74213Sony Pictures Classics
31Ernest & Celestine$10,867-73%7-2$1,552$93,7584GKIDS
32The Missing Picture$10,148--5--$2,030$12,7841Strand Releasing
33Stranger By the Lake$8,939-55%160$559$304,9349Strand Releasing
34Big Men$8,82117%32$2,940$19,8512Abramorama
35Child's Pose$8,368-3%102$837$62,8785Zeitgeist Films
36It Felt Like Love$8,211--1--$8,211$8,2111Variance Films
37Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq$7,83415%4-7$1,959$107,8067Kino Lorber
38Stalingrad (2014)$7,167-78%13-57$551$987,7504Sony / Columbia
39Under the Sea 3D$6,708-17%83$839$33,801,434267Warner Bros. / IMAX
40The Past$6,543-43%20-3$327$1,306,55914Sony Pictures Classics
41Born to Be Wild 3D$6,26315%136$482$23,223,137155Warner Bros. / IMAX
42The Jewish Cardinal$5,861--4--$1,465$67,01111Film Movement
43The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014$5,772-75%9-7$641$2,351,2738ShortsHD
44Better Living Through Chemistry$5,337-89%25-36$213$72,2732IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
45Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$4,236-42%18-5$235$8,316,02717Weinstein Company
46The Art of the Steal (2014)$3,930-90%15-45$262$61,4462RADiUS-TWC
47Blue Jasmine$3,849-78%12-15$321$33,401,34235Sony Pictures Classics
48When Comedy Went to School$3,834-52%71$548$354,90834International Film Circuit
49Generation War$3,457-71%4-2$864$87,11610Music Box Films
50Maidentrip$3,417183%75$488$60,22714First Run Features
51Girl on a Bicycle$2,907118%21$1,454$84,8546Monterey Media
52Grand Piano$2,771-45%103$277$14,2513Magnolia / Magnet
53Sweet Dreams (2013)$2,495--4--$624$38,16721International Film Circuit
5420 Feet from Stardom$2,362-76%7-11$337$4,935,16741RADiUS-TWC
55The Retrieval$1,683-77%10$1,683$9,6772Variance Films
56Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$1,406--1--$1,406$23,8147Rialto Pictures
57Journey to the West$1,359-2%41$340$14,3483Magnolia / Magnet
58Interior. Leather Bar.$1,216-68%10$1,216$37,29412Strand Releasing
59The Rocket (2013)$1,123-46%71$160$50,48711Kino Lorber
61Beijing Love Story$938-81%1-3$938$427,8546China Lion Film
62Big Bad Wolves$90913%20$455$32,82810Magnolia / Magnet
63Deep Sea 3D$855--2--$428$46,027,284421Warner Bros. / IMAX
64Fire in the Blood$628--2--$314$27,54829International Film Circuit
65The Right Kind of Wrong$422-29%10$422$1,4182Magnolia Pictures
66Free the Mind$395--1--$395$156,14347International Film Circuit
67In Bloom$363-38%21$182$38,74711Big World Pictures