Sunday, July 27, 2014

'Lucy' tops 'Hercules' with impressive $44 million at weekend box office

Although the box office was still down year-to-year this weekend, both new films that debuted were impressive. Universal's Lucy, an original sci-fi thriller starring Scarlett Johannson, topped the box office with $44 million, which is very strong. The thriller cost only $40 million, which is low for an action film. The film's strong trailer and interesting premise drew audiences in and the star power of Scarlett Johannson was also a draw. However, the "C+" Cinemascore means that the brainy premise might have confused some audience members. Still, I'm betting that this film flies past the $100 million mark.

In second place was Paramount's Hercules, the big-budget mythological adventure pic starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The $100 million film grossed $29 million, which is higher than the $25 million that most pundits predicted. The marketing campaign for Hercules was ubiquitous, but relatively lackluster and audiences obviously didn't bite. Dwayne Johnson was probably the reason that this film did as good as it did. Hercules also did much better than The Legend of Hercules, the big-budget flop starring Kellan Lutz, which released earlier this year. The film also received a "B+" Cinemascore and could bring in audiences for weeks to come.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes finished in third place and took in another $16.4 million, which raises the film's total to $172 million. That's quite the impressive total and I bet that the film works its way to $200 million, making it one of the biggest hits of the summer. The Purge: Anarchy fell to fourth place this weekend and grossed $9.8 million. The horror thriller has now grossed $51.2 million and will probably pass its predecessor in the coming weeks.

Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue dropped to fifth place this weekend and made $9.3 million. That's a steep 47% drop from last weekend, which is unusually high for an animated film. The Disney sequel has grossed $35.1 million so far. Relatively disappointing considering the film was set up as one of the biggest animated films of the summer. Sex Tape dropped 59% to sixth place and grossed $5.9 million. The comedy flop has taken in $26.8 million so far and the film will likely crawl its way to $40 million.

In seventh place was Transformers: Age of Extinction, which took in $4.6 million. That raises the film's total to $236.3 million. Still the lowest for a Transformers film in the US, but it currently stands at $966 million worldwide. Quite impressive. And So It Goes, the romantic comedy starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton finished in eighth place this weekend with $4.5 million. Considering the film's almost non-existent marketing campaign, that's quite impressive. The film doesn't have a reported budget yet, but I can't imagine it's that high. Look for this film to finish with $15 million.

Tammy finished in ninth place with $3.4 million, which raises the film's total to $78.1 million. Pretty strong considering the awful "C+" Cinemascore. And finally, A Most Wanted Man rounded out the top ten with $2.7 million. The film, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles debuted in 361 theaters and had quite the impressive debut. Look for this film to make a lot of money in the future.

Also, Richard Linklater's Boyhood grossed $1.7 million in 107 theaters, which is extraordinary. The film has now grossed $4.1 million. In addition to that, Open Road's The Fluffy Movie grossed $1.3 million in 400 theaters. Not a good debut.

Next weekend sees the release of Guardians of the Galaxy, the terrible Get On Up and the expansion of Boyhood. Here are my predictions:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy- $86.4 million
2. Get On Up- $26.4 million
3. Lucy- $17.6 million
4. Hercules- $15 million
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes- $9 million
6. Planes: Fire and Rescue- $6.3 million
7. The Purge: Anarchy- $5 million
8. Sex Tape- $3.1 million
9. Boyhood- $3 million
10. Transformers: Age of Extinction- $2.5 million

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