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Weekend Box Office Report: July 25-27, 2014

07.27.2014

Lucy blows away the rest!

Scarlett Johansson gunned down the competition this weekend as LUCY opened at #1 with a bullet, grabbing an estimated $44 million!

That's the best opening yet for director Luc Besson (and among his movies as writer/producer, only TAKEN 2's $49.5 million opening is higher). In fact, aside from THE FIFTH ELEMENT's $63.8 million domestic total, LUCY's first weekend was actually bigger than the final domestic totals for any of Besson's previous directing efforts.

Johansson's increased profile from her Marvel movie appearances was likely a major contributing factor to the success, as was shifting the release up two weeks from its original August 8th slot. LUCY's opening was also one of the highest among female-fronted features, especially considering it is rated R (and not based on existing young-adult material).

Critics and crowds apparently weren't entirely sure what to make of Johansson's trippy narcotic-powered superheroics -- the movie received an average 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 'C+' CinemaScore from moviegoers, which could damage word-of-mouth. But the opening weekend alone has already surpassed the movie's reported $40 million cost.

Opening in second was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as HERCULES with $29 million. Director Brett Ratner's new take on the mythical hero actually opened lower than the last time Johnson entered the swords-and-sandals genre -- THE SCORPION KING had a $36 million start in 2002. And he didn't even throw horses in that one.

The $100+ million action-fantasy got an average critics response of 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, while paying audiences had slightly more fun with Johnson's sweaty muscular demigod, judging by the 'B+' CinemaScore.

The next five movies basically just bumped down two spots from last weekend, with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES leaving the top for third place with another $16.4 million. After three weeks, its domestic total is just shy of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES' $176.7 million finish.

The sequel THE PURGE: ANARCHY came in fourth with $9.8 million, a drop of 66% from its opening but a ten-day total of $51.2 million. Thanks to its reasonable $9 million reported cost, it joins NEIGHBORS and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS for the summer's best budget-to-box office ratio. PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE and SEX TAPE followed, respectively losing 46% and 59% of business from their openings last week.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION was in seventh with $4.6 million, and its total of $236.3 million officially makes it the summer's biggest domestic box office hit (although it still trails CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and THE LEGO MOVIE for 2014 releases). Its $966 global total is still edging toward the $1.1 billion haul of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.

Director Rob Reiner's romcom counterprogramming AND SO IT GOES opened in eighth with $4.5 million, although critics dismissed the new Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton pairing with a lowly 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. TAMMY dropped to ninth, while the spy thriller A MOST WANTED MAN opened on 361 screens and sneaked into the Top 10 with $2.7 million. Critics were impressed with the John le Carre adaptation (one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last roles), giving it an average 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Outside the chart, we waved goodby to 22 JUMP STREET, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, EARTH TO ECHO and MALEFICENT (which has passed X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST to become the summer's second biggest release). Comedian Gabriel Iglesias' THE FLUFFY MOVIE took $1.3 million in 432 theaters, Zach Braff's WISH I WAS HERE added another 557 screens but only took in an additional $1.1 million, and Richard Linklater's buzzed drama BOYHOOD is still slowly adding screens and doing strong business ($1.7 million on 107 screens).

Next weekend finds the Marvel cinematic universe expanding into deep space with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, while Godfather of Soul James Brown's biopic GET ON UP fights for attention and James Franco's indie drama CHILD OF GOD opens in limited release.

What August release are you most interested in seeing? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Lucy $44 M
NEW
2. Hercules $29 M
NEW
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $16.4 M $172 M
4. The Purge: Anarchy $9.8 M $51.2 M
5. Planes: Fire and Rescue $9.3 M $35.1 M
6. Sex Tape $5.9 M $26.8 M
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction $4.6 M $236.3 M
8. And So It Goes $4.5 M
NEW
9. Tammy $3.4 M $78.1 M
10. A Most Wanted Man $2.7 M
NEW

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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