Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ Wow Bows In France

Lucy Movie

Action fantasy posts best first-day B.O. ever for a Luc Besson-helmed movie

LOCARNO – Scarlett Johansson action fantasy “Lucy” saw the best first-day bow of any Luc Besson film in the director’s native France.

Distribbed by Besson’s own EuropaCorp Distribution, “Lucy” nuked all opposition, taking a 43% market share and storming on Wednesday to 351,o54 ticket sales off 615 copies, per CBO-BoxOffice.com: about $3.0 million in one-day gross box office. Figure does not include prior sneak-peak premieres.

Opening marks the best-ever first day for a Besson-directed movie – and many of the 55-year-old director’s titles have gone boffo in France – and the fourth-best first day of any film this year, bettered only by Fox’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (427,234 admissions), “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and Dany Boon’s “Superchondriac,” distribbed by Pathe (367,153).

After “Superchondriac,” “Lucy” saw the second best first day for any French film this decade.

Explanations for the boffo opening: huge anticipation at Besson’s return to the action format, his first since 1997’s “The Fifth Element”; Johansson’s star power; “Lucy’s” muscular U.S. debut.

“It’s a tremendous opening that confirms the good trend for French movies this year, after the huge success of comedies in the first semester (‘Serial (Bad) Weddings,’ and others),” said Eric Marti at Rentrak.

“Lucy” will have to show long, long legs to equal the top-three grossing pics in France among movies Besson’s directed, which are, per Rentrak: 1987’s “Le gran bleu” (9.2 million admissions); 1997’s “The Fifth Element” (7.7 million); and 2005’s “Arthur and the Invisibles” (6.4 million).

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  1. Dean says:

    Too bad the film was a steaming pile of crap.

  2. Billy Wilder says:

    It took a move about brains for the studios to come to their senses. Just heard from a solid industry source that due to the success of Lucy, Scarlett has just been offered the starring role of Ann Hannify in Dust. It’s a story of survival about a young school teacher who leads a bus load of children out of the Dust Bowl to the promise of a new life in California in 1935. The studio head bypassed all the usual suspects to get Scarlett on board. Dust is being described as Gravity on Earth. Sounds exciting. Scarlett is the best actress out there, now she’s finally going to get the chance to prove that she can carry a big budget dramatic film on her own .Way to go, S.J.

    • Nash says:

      That sounds kind of dumb to be honest. And ScarJo can’t carry a film if her life depended on it. She’s just so bad.

      • Rebecca says:

        What’s dumb? The story or Scarlett starring? The material seems promising. And don’t forget my good sir…Scarlett won a Tony for her performance in A View From The Bridge. She is more than capable of carrying a movie on her own. Just don’t think many are willing to give her the opportunity. Too risky, I guess. She’s been making movies since she was a kid. She’s ¼ of her way to an EGOT. I think she will shine in this role. What’s your problem with S.J?

        –Rebecca

    • Development Person says:

      Really interesting how things turn out. Script was actually written for Scarlett but original producer wanted Anne Hathaway to star. What a difference a Lucy makes. From what I heard about the project it is the biggest female role to come along in years. The lead character is not only a teacher but a mother. You think Scarlett is too young to play a screen Mom?

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