Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy' Opens Strong in Russia

Luc Besson's sci-fi thriller brought in nearly $10 million, more than 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

Luc Besson's Lucy exceeded Russian box-office expectations, bringing in one of the year's biggest opening-weekend performances in the country.

The sci-fi/action thriller, released in Russia on Sept. 11, seven weeks after its U.S. release, grossed $9.6 million (363 million rubles) during its opening weekend, surpassing even the most optimistic forecasts. Besson and the film's star, Scarlett Johansson, are popular in Russia.

Lucy was the top movie of the weekend and had the eighth-biggest opening weekend of the year in Russia.

The opening-weekend figure put Lucy in the same league as the most successful recent Hollywood releases in Russia. Lucy's performance surpassed the opening weekend gross of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($9 million or 346 million rubles) and didn't lag much behind that of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($10.6 million or 407 million rubles).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is currently the year's sixth-highest grossing film, with Lucy seen as having a chance to make the top 10 for the year in Russia. Homegrown films gained market share in the country in the first half of the year.

The biggest box-office opening weekend performance in Russia so far this year has come from local movie Viy, which made $15.7 million during its first weekend.

Lucy has also done well in other countries, including in Besson's French home market.