The two films are targeting similar action-loving ticket-buyers, which means competition will be fierce. For now, give the edge to Universal Pictures’ “Lucy,” which stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman injected with drugs that turn her into a superhuman. You know, standard trip. Universal acquired the film for around $40 million and the picture should make north of $30 million this weekend.
“Lucy” screened in 2,386 locations on Thursday, while “Hercules” bowed in 2,053 theaters. Late night numbers on “Lucy” were delayed because of a computer glitch in AMC’s theater chain.
“Hercules,” arrives via a partnership between Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was directed by Brett Ratner. Dwayne Johnson stars as the son of Zeus and he’s the big draw, given that not every ticket-buyer was weaned on tales of Mount Olympus (witness the failure of Kellan Lutz’s bid for a Golden Raspberry award, “The Legend of Hercules”). The film cost $100 million to produce, so it needs to make an impression this weekend both here and abroad if it wants to break even. To that end, it will premiere in 19 international markets this weekend, including Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia. It’s currently on pace to hit roughly $28 million for the weekend.
“Lucy” will expand to 3,172 theaters this Friday, while “Hercules” will bow in 3,600 locations. Both films will benefit from respectable reviews — the Greek god picture has a 65% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the revenge thriller enjoys a 63% “fresh” mark.
The overall box office is expected to continue to lag behind last summer’s, at least until Marvel’s “The Guardians of the Galaxy” arrives next weekend.