Weekend Estimates: Hercules No Match for Lucy

Lucy poster

This weekendís boys versus girls box office match-up has proven to be a triumph for the girls, with Lucy enjoying a decisive win over Hercules. The Scarlett Johansson/Luc Besson sci-fi thriller will post an opening around $44 million, according to Universalís Sunday estimate, which is almost exactly 50% more than the $29 million debut projected for Hercules. The difference in budgets between the two films is even starker with Hercules clocking in at around $100 million, and Lucy reportedly closer to $40 million.

Hercules is making up some ground internationally, where it is on track to earn $28.7 million this weekend, thanks in large part to an impressive $12 million in Russia.

Two other new releases hit the top 10 this weekend. And So It Goes will pick up about $4.5 million for Clarius Entertainmentóa better start than their previous release, Legends of Oz: Dorothyís Return, although still fairly soft. The film should have reasonable legs, given its older demographic, so it could still do OK if it can hold on in theaters for a few weeks (its $2,500 theater average makes that a borderline proposition). A Most Wanted Man wonít have any trouble sticking around after an impressive $2.7 million opening from 361 locations. Thatís not Roadside Attractionsí biggest weekend ever (The Conspirator opened with $3.5 million back in 2011), but in terms of per-theater appeal, itís up there with Mud, which is the distributorís biggest film to date. A Most Wanted Man could do good business through the latter half of the Summer and challenge Mudís final tally of $21.6 million.

Returning films were uniformly weak at the box office this weekend, with Planes: Fire and Rescue the only film in the top 10 to fall less than 50%, and even then, its 47% fall is hardly stellar.

In limited release, Magic in the Moonlight has the best theater average, with $426,000 from 17 venues. Great though its $25,000 theater average is, it represents Woody Allenís worst debut outing since Vicky Cristina Barcelona (which coincidentally also starred Scarlett Johansson), back in 2008. The overall performance of Boyhood, which is set to earn $1.725 million from 107 theaters in its third weekend is better, with a very impressive $16,000 average.

Those two and Lucy are the only films reporting so far that top $10,000 per theater this weekend. A Master Builder will pick up just over $8,000 at a single location though, and will be close to $14,000 in its first five days.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash bruce.nash@the-numbers.com


Date posted: 2014-07-27