Box Office: 'Lucy' Wows With $17.1M Friday; 'Hercules' Distant No. 2

8:02 AM PST 07/26/2014 by Pamela McClintock
Universal
"Lucy"

"Lucy" is now expected to gross a fantastic $45.2 million for the weekend; Woody Allen's "Magic in the Moonlight" and "A Most Wanted Man" open in select markets.

Scarlett Johansson's female action movie Lucy is bringing a needed boost to the ailing summer box office, opening to $17.1 million on Friday for a projected weekend of $45.2 million, notably more than expected. However, overall revenue for the weekend will still be down from last year.

Dwayne Johnson's Hercules, from director Brett Ratner, placed a distant No. 2 Friday, with an estimated $11 million for a projected $28 million to $30 million weekend.

Paramount and MGM, which partnered on Hercules, have much more at stake financially since the movie cost at least $100 million to make. The film could be a big performer in select international markets, including Russia, where it has earned $5.2 million in its first two days. All told, Hercules took in $6.5 million Friday from 19 markets for an early foreign total of $11.5 million.

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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. The movie only earned a C+ CinemaScore, although that didn't seem to slow traffic on Friday.

Adapted from Radical Comics, Hercules — nabbing a B+ CinemaScore — 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 weekend and may only open to $4 million. Clarius Entertainment is distributing the movie.

At the specialty box office, Anton Corbijn's spy thriller A Most Wanted Man, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman opposite Rachel McAdams, debuted in 361 theaters on Friday. The movie is expected to place No. 11 with an estimated $2.2 million for Roadside Attractions.

Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is opening to OK numbers as well. From Sony Pictures Classics, the film is expected to earn an estimated $390,000 for the weekend for a location average of nearly $23,000.

Among holdovers, Boyhood, from director Richard Linklater and IFC Films, continues to impress in its third weekend. Expanding into a total of 107 locations, the drama should gross at least $1.6 million for the weekend for an early total of more than $4 million.

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