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.