Scarlett Johansson Fends off 'Guardians' at French Box Office

Scarlett Johansson at the French Acacdemy's Cesar Awards
Scarlett Johansson at the French Acacdemy's Cesar Awards
 AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

Scarlett Johansson is proving to be unstoppable with French audiences, with her Lucy holding on to first place ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Local audiences stayed loyal to hometown director Luc Besson and his star, who now calls Paris her home, buying 1.1 million tickets to the sci-fi action thriller in its second week on screens.

The film held on to the top spot well ahead of the Marvel world’s latest entry, which filled only 935,000 seats across the country. 

Though Johansson got off to a rocky start as a resident here after calling Parisians "terribly rude" in an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in January, she's been embraced by the French academy, which bestowed her with an honorary trophy at the Cesar Awards ceremony. Accepting on live TV, she gave an impassioned speech about her love for French culture, just days before announcing her pregnancy with French fiance Romain Dauriac.

Guardians of the Galaxy’s opening was a marked decline from the opening of Avengers in 2012 — also starring Johansson — which opened with Lucy-like numbers of 2 million in the first week. The unfamiliar face on the posters could have been a deciding factor for audiences. Prior to opening, “Who is Chris Pratt?” stories appeared in local media, introducing French audiences to the actor.

Lucy has already crossed the 3 million mark, ranking it the seventh-best performing film of the year in just two weeks of release, and it's on track to be Besson's best performing film here. However, Besson, whose EuropaCorp production company has made action franchises with the Transporter and Taken trilogies, recently revealed he will not be making a sequel.

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