Box Office: Friday Shows Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy' Beating 'Hercules'
Scarlett Johansson's Lucy is flexing more muscle than Dwayne Johnson's Hercules at the Friday box office, where the female action film is off to a strong start.
First estimates show Lucy, directed by Luc Besson, grossing roughly $12 million to $14 million on Friday for a potential $35 million-plus weekend (some think it could even get to $38 million).
Director Brett Ratner's Hercules is aiming to earn $9 million to $11 million on Friday, putting its North American opening in the $26 million to $29 million range. It's doing more business than pre-release tracking had suggested, although the filmmakers have to be disappointed that it isn't beating Lucy.
Hercules is off to a solid start overseas, where it launched in its first 11 markets Thursday, grossing $5 million. That included $2.6 million in Russia, marking the No. 3 opening day of the year so far.
Paramount and MGM, which partnered on Hercules, have much more at stake financially since the movie cost at least $100 million to make. Lucy was produced by Besson's EuropaCorp for a reported $40 million and is being released by Universal. The R-rated movie co-stars Morgan Freeman and features Johansson as a woman who ingests a drug that gives her extraordinary abilities.
Adapted from Radical Comics, Hercules stars Johnson as the mythical Greek hero. His new adventures begin when he's enlisted by the daughter of the lord of Thrace to save her kingdom from civil war. Johnson stars opposite Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and John Hurt in the PG-13 action epic.
Rob Reiner's independent romantic comedy And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, is failing to find many laughs on its first day and may not crack $4 million for the weekend. Clarius Entertainment is distributing the movie.