Box Office: Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ to Slay ‘Hercules’ With $45 Million Opening

Lucy Movie

Brain is beating brawn at the box office as Scarlett Johansson’s “Lucy” outperformed Dwayne Johnson’s “Hercules” on Friday.

“Lucy” opened to a higher-than-anticipated $17 million and is headed toward a strong $45 million debut weekend. Meanwhile, “Hercules” grossed $11 million on Friday on track for a $30 million launch.

Johansson plays the titular femme fatale in Luc Besson’s actioner from Universal. She’s a drug mule who turns superhuman when she mistakenly ingests a drug that gives her access to increasingly more and more brain power at the expense of her humanity.

The actress is a formidable threat to Johnson, the quintessential action star, as she’s proven capable of seamlessly alternating between indies and action pics, from an alien in “Under the Skin” to Black Widow in the “Avengers” and “Captain America” movies. Johansson has the highest grossing film of the year in the U.S. so far with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” It’s hauled $258.7 million Stateside and $713 million worldwide.

“Lucy,” which Besson’s EuropaCorp produced for $40 million, is evenly matched with “Hercules” as far as critics are concerned. It has a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while “Hercules,” produced by Paramount and MGM for $100 million, has earned 63%.

“Hercules,” directed by Brett Ratner, tells the origin story of the son of Zeus, based on Steve Moore’s Radical Comics book.

The blockbuster’s anticipated $30 million opening is weak considering its hefty budget. But the movie is flexing muscle overseas thanks to the former wrestling star’s global action star power. The epic had earned $11.5 million from 19 international markets by Friday, led by Russia with $5.2 million.

“Lucy” will debut in foreign territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria and Panama, next week.

The weekend’s third new wide release, Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton’s rom-com “And So It Goes,” came in eight on Friday. It will likely stay in that spot, earning a projected $4 million by Sunday. Rob Reiner’s indie is only playing in 1,762 theaters, compared to “Lucy’s” 3,173 locations and “Hercules’” 3,595 screens.

Holdovers rounded out the top five. Fox’s back-to-back box office champ “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” earned $4.7 million on Friday. The movie is en route to a $16 million third place finish, down 55%, in its third weekend. The sequel will have grossed an estimated $172 million by Sunday.

Universal’s thriller “The Purge: Anarachy” scared up $3.4 million on Friday. It’s eyeing $10 million, which would mark a 65% decline, in its second weekend.

Lastly, Disney’s second frame of “Planes: Fire and Rescue” should land in fifth ahead of Sony’s “Sex Tape” with $2.8 million on its way to a $9 million-plus weekend.

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  1. Andrea says:

    I actually really enjoyed Dwayne’s Hercules a lot, it was a nice, refreshing change from the usual mythical movie. I will wait to see Lucy when it comes out on DVD…. it just doesn’t quite appeal to me, seems like another Transcendence, etc. . The only reason it beat Hercules is because guys (and gals) wanted to see sexy Johansson but although I do find her stunning and great even in action, I’d much rather see Dwayne.

  2. niki says:

    i just saw Hercules and I like the legend of Hercules and the Rock but the problem is that they must have shot this movie on a video camera everything looked a bit cheap (showing too much detail is not a good thing for a special effects movie with costumes)..

  3. filmsharks says:

    I’m liking Scarlett Johansson’s film choices lately. She was terrific as a computer operating system in ‘Her’ and she was equally impressive as a creepy alien in the surreal art film ‘Under the Skin.’ She is captivating in ‘Lucy’ and proves she can carry an action film similar to Angelina Jolie. Make more female-driven movies, Hollywood… It’s a no-brainer.

  4. “RoidCules?” no thanks, I;ll take Scarlett anytime

  5. P Wayne Smith says:

    So everybody smelled what The Rock was cookin’ and decided to take the kids with them to see Scarlett Johansson in IMAX. That’s how you outgross your competition in spite of your film being rated R and opening in fewer theaters!

    Star Power, baby!

  6. big daddy D says:

    That’s a pretty misogynistic attitude to have there, buddy. I like the concept of Lucy, and Luc Besson is a genius. I’ll be seeing both of these movies.

    • watsupah says:

      Doesn’t matter to me whether u watch hercules or lucy. But my point is something else, Judging a movie based on money it earns & dissing great films is horrible. Look at the title of this article.

  7. This looks uneventful and #ScarlettJohansson has aged.

    • standup2bigc says:

      Sexism. Yes, she looks ancient lol. Women can’t age because of critics like you who put eye candy before talent. Doesn’t the plot call for a drug addict anyway? How old would you like your female actors? Seriously, you must have a cut off in mind. I go to see actors perform, not to imagine them as sexual objects. ..and we wonder why women still get paid a fraction of men’s pay. She was great in the role. All that aside…people age…and strangely enough it tends to season their skills.

  8. Eff Tee says:

    Watched Lucy yesterday. OK movie but I loved the idea of it being a prologue to Scarlett’s other movie, Her.

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