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411 Box Office Report: Lucy Blows Away the Competition
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 07.27.2014

This weekend's two biggest newcomers at the box office both overperformed to take the top two spots. Lucy opened at #1 with an impressive $44 million, marking the latest success in a banner year for Scarlett Johansson. The film beat expectations, which were in the mid-$30 million range, based on Johansson's star power and an impressive marketing campaign that highlighted the movie's action elements. The film scored average marks from critics and audiences gave it a middling C+ CinemaScore, which may prove problematic for its successive weekends. But audiences were clearly taken with Johansson as a top-billed action star, hungry to see more of the kinds of work she's been doing as Black Widow. It's also the biggest hit of director Luc Besson's career by a long shot. The film shouldn't have much of a problem crossing the $100 million mark domestically, which will make it a solid hit given its $40 million budget.

Coming in at #2 was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Hercules. The sword-and-sandals action-adventure brought in $29 million stateside, which is above the low-to-mid twenties that Paramount & MGM were projecting. The Rock has been a reliable draw at the box office, but mostly in ensemble work or franchise films. This is the highest gross for a film that he's toplined on his own since The Scorpion King brought in $36.1 million back in 2002. Audiences were kinder to this one with a B+ CinemaScore and critics gave it okay marks (63% on Rotten Tomatoes). The film added $28.7 million overseas in early overseas markets; it still has yet to open in the vast majority of regions across the pond. The $57.7 million worldwide gross means that the studios still have a lot ground to cover in order to turn a profit on the $100 million-budgeted film, but it should be in fine shape once more overseas grosses come in.

After two weeks at the top, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fell two spots to #3 with $16.5 million. The film has now hit $172.1 million domestically and $354 million worldwide. The final domestic gross should hit $210 million to $225 million. The budget was $170 million.

The Purge: Anarchy dropped a couple of runs to #4 in its second weekend with $9.9 million. The horror-thriller dropped a painful 67%, which is high for its genre but at least better than the first film's 76% fall last year. Thus far it has pulled in $51.3 million domestically and $51.7 million worldwide. The film has been daily outgrossing its predecessor since early last week and should finish up around $67 million to $70 million, a huge success based on a $9 million budget.

Planes: Fire & Rescue slipped two to #5 with $9.3 million. That's a 47% drop, which can't be the kind of second weekend Disney was hoping for. It's higher than your average family film drop and higher than the first film's 40% fall last year. Make no mistake though; this will still be a success for the studio. It's doing okay overall with $35.1 million stateside and $56.1 million worldwide, with some markets still left to go. It should end up with around $60 million domestically from a $50 million budget.

If Sony was hoping for decent legs for Sex Tape following its terrible first weekend, they were mightily disappointed. The film was also down two spots but suffered badly from its already lackluster opening weekend with just $6 million. That's a 60% drop, way above the standard 35% - 40% drop for comedies. Audiences just weren't interested in this one at all. The film has now grossed $26.9 million domestically and $37.1 million worldwide from a budget of $40 million. Even matching its budget seems unlikely at this point.

Transformers: Age of Extinction was also down two, finishing at #7 in its fifth weekend with $4.6 million. The action film has now grossed $236.4 million domestically and $966.4 million worldwide from a budget of $210 million. It'll finish out with around $250 million domestically.

Rob Reiner's latest film, And So It Goes, opened at #8 this weekend with $4.6 million. That's right about where most people were predicting it. The film was attempting to counterprogram against the blockbusters at the top of the charts and opened in a lot less theaters, but older audiences are increasingly difficult to get out to theaters these days. The number is down significantly from the $19.4 million that Reiner's The Bucket List opened with in January of 2008. The film's budget was $30 million, which it has no real chance of making back.

Tammy was down three rungs to #9 in its fourth weekend, bringing in $3.4 million. The film has now grossed $78.1 million domestically and $84.3 million worldwide from a $20 million budget. A final domestic gross of $85 million to $90 million is probable.

A Most Wanted Man scored impressive numbers to open at #10 in limited release. The Anton Corbijn espionage-thriller, which is one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final films, scored $2.8 million from just 361 theaters. Critics and audiences both have shown their appreciation for the film, which could end up doing quite well if Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions expand it further.

The weekend box office tally was again lackluster with $148.4 million, which despite the overperforming new entries was still down 14% from last year's take of $173.4 million. Last year was led by The Wolverine's $53.1 million opening.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film's grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. Lucy - $44.1 million ($44.1 million total)
2. Hercules - $29 million ($29 million total)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - $16.5 million ($172.1 million total)
4. The Purge: Anarchy - $9.9 million ($51.3 million total)
5. Planes: Fire & Rescue - $9.3 million ($35.1 million total)
6. Sex Tape - $6 million ($26.9 million total)
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction - $4.6 million ($236.4 million total)
8. And So It Goes - $4.6 million ($4.6 million total)
9. Tammy - $3.4 million ($84.3 million total)
10. A Most Wanted Man - $2.7 million ($2.7 million total)


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