15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend (results below).
Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1
3). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 3,668 theaters (-301) / 3-day cume: $16.7M (-54%) / Per screen: $4,571 / Total cume: $172.4M / Wk 3
4). The Purge: Anarchy (UNI), 2,856 theaters (+50) / 3-day cume: $10.4M (-65%) / Per screen: $3,670 / Total cume: $51.8M / Wk 2
5). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 3,839 theaters (+13) / 3-day cume: $9.5M (-46%) / Per screen: $2,482 / Total cume: $35.3M / Wk 2
6). Sex Tape (SONY), 3,062 theaters (0) / 3-day cume: $6M (-59%) / Per screen: $1,977 / Total cume: $26.9M / Wk 2
7). Transformers: Age Of Extinction (PAR), 2,476 theaters (-748) / 3-day cume: $4.7M (-52%) / Per screen: $1,899 / Total cume: $236.4M / Wk 5
8). And So It Goes (CLARIUS), 1,762 theaters / 3-day cume: $4.6M / Per screen: $2,635 / Wk 1
9). Tammy (WB), 2,562 theaters (-840) / 3-day cume: $3.4M (-53%) / Per screen: $1,348 / Total cume: $78.2M / Wk 4
10). A Most Wanted Man (RSA), 361 theaters / 3-day cume: $2.68M / Per screen: $7,442 / Total cume: $2.6M / Wk 1
11). 22 Jump Street (SONY), 1,613 theaters (-616) / 3-day cume: $2.6M (-45%) / Per screen: $1,612 / Total cume: $185.7M / Wk 7
12). How to Train Your Dragon 2 (FOX), 1,358 theaters (-811) / 3-day cume: $2.2M (-43%) / Per screen: $1,646 / Total cume: $165.6M / Wk 7
13). Maleficent (Disney), 1,077 theaters (-464) / 3-day cume: $1.8M (-43%) / Per screen: $1,704 / Total cume: $232.1M / Wk 9
14). Boyhood (IFC), 107 theaters (+73) / 3-day cume: $1.7M (+51%) / Per screen: $16,466 / Total cume: $4.1M / Wk 3
15). Begin Again (TWC), 1,244 theaters (-58) / 3-day cume: $1.5M (-40%) / Per screen: $1,266 / Total cume: $12.3M / Wk 5
16). Earth to Echo (REL), 1,272 theaters (-1,178) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (-58%) / Per screen: $1,091 / Total cume: $35.5M / Wk 4
17). The Fluffy Movie (OPRD), 432 theaters / 3-day cume: $1.3M / Per screen: $3,036 / Wk 1
18). Wish I Was Here (FOCUS), 625 theaters (+557) / 3-day cume: $1.1M (+138%) / Per screen: $1,847 / Total cume: $1.8M / Wk 2
19). Kick (UTV), 177 theaters / 3-day cume: $1M / Per screen: $6,065 / Wk 1
20). America (LGF), 760 theaters (-270) / 3-day cume: $903,937 (-46%) / Per screen: $1,189 / Total cume: $13.2M / Wk 5
13th and 14th UPDATES, Sunday, 6:30 AM and 8 AM: As the industry waits for next weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy to lift the summer box office blues (it will start next Thursday at 7 PM), this weekend is wrapping up: Lucy will end the 3-day with $44M for Universal, director Luc Besson and our new solo, female action star Scarlett Johansson. On a budget of what the studio claims to be $40M, this picture should turn a profit with international yet to weigh in (it doesn’t open until next weekend) and Johansson already an known entity overseas from all the Marvel movies she’s been in. Now, if Sunday moviegoing drops more than 20%, Lucy will come in around $43.5M for its debut weekend. Its second weekend could dive, given the mixed reviews and the C+ CinemaScore it received Friday night.
This weekend continues to be down around 14% from last year at this time, and overall moviegoing is off about 6% from 2013’s record-breaking box office year and what was the all-time highest summer (with a total of $2.753B from the beginning of May through Sept. 2). So far, May 2nd to July 27th 2014 is $2.930B compared to last year’s $3.674B year’s for the same period. Now, if you bring the April bow of Captain America: The Winter Soldier into the mix, moviegoing is off 14%. No wonder everyone is waiting with baited breath for the debut of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy which could lift the box office about 15% to 20% next weekend up over the equivalent weekend in 2013. It’s tracking for a $65M to $75M opening but veteran distributors think it could go to $80M.
Universal weighed at 8 AM that Lucy the fifth No. 1 opener for the studio this year and Johansson’s top opener where she was the lead in a film. That’s fair. It did equally well among genders (literally a 50/50 split). Lucy also marks the 2nd biggest weekend ever for a French-produced film (it is from Besson’s EuropaCorp.) behind only Taken 2 which grossed $49M in its opening weekend (EuropaCorp./Canal +). Among the Top Ten French produced films, EuropaCorp. now has seven of those. Well done.
The unsung hero for Lucy? It would be Peter Cramer, co-president of production for the studio, who really championed this project, was instrumental in bringing it into the fray, and oversaw the production on behalf of Universal.
“We did very well in the large format screens. Lucy looked fantastic on large format screens,” said Uni’s head of distribution Nikki Rocco. “The marketing was really great on this.” Um, so was the distribution date. They moved the picture up by two weeks after Warner Bros. moved Jupiter Ascending out of the August 8th date. Nice job, Ms. Rocco. To her point, Lucy did do well in large formats with seven IMAX screens — two in Canada and five in U.S. — and other big screens led by Cinemark which brought in 32.3% of that large-format gross, which is a new circuit record. Large formats made up a total of 12% of the Lucy weekend gross.
Speaking of a great international presence, the Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson-starring Hercules looks like the Brett Ratner directed actioner will take $29M domestically as it also rolls out in 19 countries this weekend in a date and date drop from Paramount/MGM. With Fast and Furious 6 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation under his belt, Johnson was considered the No. 1 box office star of last year internationally. This one had a net cost of around $110M so it will be crossing its fingers for a big overseas take. Interestingly, after it failed to impress at the domestic box office, Paramount began releasing its international numbers early to try to pick up the perception. For international box office results, check my colleague Nancy Tartaglione’s weekly report here.
The other opener, And So it Goes, from director Rob Reiner and starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, ends the weekend opening at No. 8 on 1,762 screens, roughly three-quarters of the locales that Lucy had, with $4.45M from Clarius.
No. 3 went to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which in its third weekend, was good for another $16.4M this weekend to raise its cume to $172M+. Now for the second frame performers: The Purge: Anarchy got the No. 4 spot for another $9.8M to $10.2M (depending on the percentage drop today), bringing the cume for this picture to $51M+, churning quite a profit for a picture the studio said was a $9M production. It dropped a whopping 65% in its second weekend. Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue in its second weekend will drop about 48% and depending on Sunday’s hold will make anywhere between $9M and $9.2M while Sony’s Sex Tape slid 59% in its second weekend for a $5.9M take to add to a cume of only $26.8M.
The most fun to watch (besides Lucy‘s climb) has been the films in limited release. One of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last film, A Most Wanted Man, stepped into the No. 10 spot (as its distributor Roadside predicted on Friday) to displace 22 Jump Street (in its 7th week and in 1,613 locations). Roadside noted that it is its second-highest opening in its 11-year history and their first Top Ten opening. The only one to open higher was The Conspirator in 2011 ($3.5M but in 11th place). Bravo. The per screen average for the film based on the John Le Carre novel of the same name will be around $7,527 on only 361 locales.
The per screen average winner, of course, was the first weekend of Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight from Sony Pictures’ Classics in only 17 locales it delights with around $25K while audience favorite Boyhood from director Richard Linklater and IFC Films got a 47% jump on Saturday and is looking at a new per screen average of around $16K. For more on this and final numbers, see Brian Brooks’ specialty box office story here.
The Fluffy Movie, the concert film from comedian Gabriel Iglesias and Open Road, ended the weekend with $1.3M for a nice per screen average of $2,994.
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / $17.1M Fri. / $14.99M Sat. (-12%) / $11.99M Sun. (-20%) / 3-day cume: $43.5M to $44M / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / $11M Fri. / $10.2M Sat. (-8%) / $7.68M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $29M+ / Wk 1
3). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 3,668 theaters (-301) / $4.75M Fri. / $6.6M Sat. (+41%) / $4.97M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $16.39M (-55%) / Total cume: $172M / Wk 3
4). The Purge: Anarchy (UNI), 2,856 theaters (+50) / $3.3M Fri. / $3.9M Sat. (+12.5%) / $2.9M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $9.8M to $10.2M (-65%) / Total cume: $51.4M / Wk 2
5). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 3,839 theaters (+13) / $2.75M Fri. / $3.6M Sat. (+33%) / $2.5M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $9M to $9.2M (-48%) / Total cume: $34.8M to $35M / Wk 2
6). Sex Tape (SONY), 3,062 theaters (0) / $1.9M Fri. / $2.3M Sat. (+24%) / $1.65M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $5.9M (-59%) / Total cume: $26.8M / Wk 2
7). Transformers: Age Of Extinction (PAR), 2,476 theaters (-748) / $1.3M Fri. / $1.8M Sat. (+44%) / $1.4M Sun. (-25%) / 3-day cume: $4.57M (-54%) / Total cume: $236.3M / Wk 5
8). And So It Goes (CLARIUS), 1,762 theaters / $1.34M Fri. / $1.8M Sat. (+39%) / $1.3M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $4M to $4.45M / Wk 1
9). Tammy (WB), 2,562 theaters (-840) / $1M Fri. / $1.39M Sat. (+31%) / $912K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $3.38M (-55%) / Total cume: $78.1M / Wk 4
10). A Most Wanted Man (RSA), 361 theaters / $716K Fri. / $1.1M Sat. (+59%) / $855K Sun. (-25%) / Per screen average: $7,505 / Total cume: $2.7M / Wk 1
11th and 12th UPDATES, Saturday, 9:58 PM and 10:58 PM: Our estimates this morning were right on the money with Lucy looking to take in about $15.1M to $15.5M Saturday (down around 10% from Friday) for a estimated 3-day cume of about $44.1M to $44.7M and Hercules coming in right around $29.3M to $29.9M at the moment after a $10.56M Saturday estimated gross (down about 5% from Friday).
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes appears in line to take $6.75M on Saturday for a $16.3M to $16.65M weekend (also right in line with estimates) while The Purge: Anarchy is not doing as well as everyone thought it would on Saturday — probably $3.8M to $4M tonight and a weekend showing of $9.95M to $10.6M.
Rounding out the Top Five is Planes: Fire & Rescue with $3.7M on family movie day Saturday to gross maybe a $8.8M to $9M weekend. Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton is now on track to make around $4.4M. Also, Sex Tape may actually end up having a lesser percentage drop in its second weekend, maybe 59% after what looks to be a $2.4M Saturday so that would bring it up to $6M for the weekend. That’s how it looks now and will see how it ends up in the AM.
10th UPDATE, Saturday 7:15 AM: The estimates we did from last night figuring out percentages increases and decreases are pretty much on the money this morning: Lucy came in stronger than expected and ended up with a $17.1M Friday to put it on a trajectory of a $43M+ weekend. Uni is projecting a bit higher at $45M, probably thinking that the word of mouth (it received a C+ CinemaScore last night) isn’t going to hurt the picture much. It’s a very strong showing and between that and Paramount/MGM’s Hercules which is on track to make around $28.5M to $30M+, the top two pictures are sweeping up around $73M between them, 57% of the Top Ten pics in the marketplace. Hercules is playing in IMAX and 3-D, which is making up about half of its gross — 14% is coming from IMAX. Paramount announced at 8:35 AM PST that Hercules has taken in a total internationally of $11.5M as Russia leads the charge with $5.2M (35% ahead of G.I. Joe: Retaliation). It debuted in 19 territories. They also just announced that Friday business internationally was $6.2M.
Looking forward to seeing the international numbers for both pictures as Scarlett Johansson has an international imprint from all the Marvel movies she has done (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and international audiences know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from Fast and the Furious 6 and GI Joe: Retaliation. In fact, “The Rock” was considered the No. 1 international star last year because of it. Hercules is doing healthy business abroad so far because of it.
The percentage drops are as follows for pics in their sophomore frames: Uni’s horror flick The Purge: Anarchy (despite adding 50 theaters) is going to slide around 64%; Disney’s animated Planes: Fire & Rescue drops an est. 49% and Sony’s R-rated comedy Sex Tape falls about 62%.
The smaller pics – A Most Wanted Man, Boyhood, The Fluffy Movie and Magic in the Moonlight — actually all did slightly better than we estimated, with all jumping up a notch in the rankings. The revised chart follows:
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / $17.1M Fri. / Total est. cume: $43.3M to $45M / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / $11M Fri. / Total est. cume: $28.5M to $30M+ / Wk 1
3). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 3,668 theaters (-301) / $4.75M Fri. / 3-day cume: $16.2M to $16.7M (-54%) / Total cume: $172M+ / Wk 3
4). The Purge: Anarchy (UNI), 2,856 theaters (+50) / $3.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10.3M to $10.6M (-64%) / Total cume: $52M / Wk 2
5). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 3,839 theaters (+13) / $2.75M Fri. / 3-day cume: $8.9M to $9M+ (-48%) / Total cume: $35.5M / Wk 2
6). Sex Tape (SONY), 3,062 theaters (0) / $1.9M Fri. / 3-day cume: $5.7M (-62%) / Total cume: $26.5M / Wk 2
7). Transformers: Age Of Extinction (PAR), 2,476 theaters (-748) / $1.285M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.4M (-54%) / Total cume: $236M+ / Wk 5
8). And So It Goes (CLARIUS), 1,762 theaters / $1.34M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4M to $4.3M / Wk 1
9). Tammy (WB), 2,562 theaters (-840) / $1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.3M (-54%) / Total cume: $78M+ / Wk 4
10). 22 Jump Street (SONY), 1,613 theaters (-616) / $773K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.55M (-45%) / Total cume: $185.8M / Wk 7
NOTEWORTHY: 11). A Most Wanted Man (RSA), 361 theaters / $715K Fri. / Per screen average: $6,020 / Total cume: $2.2M / Wk 1
14). Boyhood (IFC), 107 theaters (+73) / $457K Fri. / Per screen: $15,300 / 3-day cume: $1.58M (+40%) / Total cume: $4M / Wk 3
16). The Fluffy Movie (OPRD), 432 theaters / $513K Fri. / Per screen: $3,320 / 3-day cume: $1.4M / Wk 1
25). Magic in the Moonlight (SPC), 17 theaters / $117K Fri. / 3-day cume: $389K / Per screen: $22,880 / Wk 1
8th and 9th UPDATES, 9:40 PM and 10:34 PM: Lucy is having a ball (okay, I know that’s lame), but Universal Pictures certainly is. How high can she rise? Right now, all bets are on that the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner should kick in over $42M for the three-day weekend for director Luc Besson — maybe even as high as $44M. The picture has enjoyed a very good Friday with about $15.4M (and that includes the almost $2.8M it grossed Thursday night). However, just got the CinemaScores in at 10:30 PM (hence the update) and it only garnered a C+ CinemaScore which is not going to bode well for word of mouth. In the No. 2 spot is, as expected, is Paramount/MGM’s Hercules whose estimates didn’t strengthen much throughout the day and is still expected for an $11M Friday for a weekend around $28M to $30M. Chalk it up to the star power of Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson. This pic got a B+ CinemaScore, the same as the other newcomer And So It Goes (see below for details on that pic).
Fox’s The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will take the No. 3 spot in its third week of release for a $17.3M three-day and the horror flick The Purge: Anarchy is in the No. 4 spot with $10.4M for Universal. After the distrib. added 50 theaters, it is nonetheless falling about 65% in its second weekend and going the way of most horror flicks that burn hot and then go out. Still this low-budget Blumhouse dystopian flick will have grossed about $52M after the weekend. No small wonder why the studio did a deal with the profit-maker Jason Blum this past week. Rounding out the Top Five is the flyover holdover Planes: Fire & Rescue from Disney with a $2.9M Friday; the animated picture is expected to land with $9.6M this weekend (that’s figuring in a 35% jump on family moviegoing day tomorrow). Also in its second weekend and and expected to drop 60% is Sony’s R-rated comedy Sex Tape (see the chart for its flaccid results).
The other newbie this weekend is a couple of oldies — make that three — Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes which stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. It’ll come in at No. 8 with about $4.1M for the three-day after grossing about $1.3M Friday. It’s this weekend’s box office disappointment, but it got a B+ CinemaScore so that is at least some good news. And hey, with a career that includes This Is Spinal Tap, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men and The Princess Bride, I’ll watch any and everything Reiner does. Does that make me old? Yeah, I guess it does.
NOTEWORTHY: Some of the more interesting news this weekend at the box office is playing outside of the Top Ten. A Most Wanted Man, which is one of the last big film that stars the late Philip Seymour Hoffman is just shy of making it into the box office Ten, but it should gross around $2.17M this weekend for Roadside Attractions (per screen is about $6K). The Fluffy Movie, the concert movie starring Gabriel ‘I’m not fat, I’m fluffy’ Iglesias debuts at No. 17 in 432 locales and looks to make about $1.2M this weekend for a per screen of $2,779 for its distributor Open Road. It’s No. 17.
We also have Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight bowing on only 17 screens, but with an estimated (and very strong) per screen average of $22,408 for the three-day. It takes the No. 26th spot at the moment. The romantic comedy, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, stars Colin Firth, Emma Stone and Marcia Gay Harden. The expansion of Boyhood on 107 screens is also expected to sprout $14,430 per screen for filmmaker Richard Linklater which has seen positive word-of-mouth carry his baby through for three weeks. It’s at No. 15. The per screens of these two pics individually are actually higher than Lucy‘s ($12,800). Here’s the chart as it looks now and numbers/positions may change in the AM:
1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / $15.4M to $17M Fri. / Total est. cume: $42.8M to $44.5M / Wk 1
2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / $11M Fri. / Total est. cume: $28.3M to $30M+ / Wk 1
3). Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (FOX), 3,668 theaters (-301) / $4.75M Fri. / 3-day cume: $16M to $17M+ (-55%) / Total cume: $173M / Wk 3
4). The Purge: Anarchy (UNI), 2,856 theaters (+50) / $3.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10.3M (-65%) / Total cume: $51.9M / Wk 2
5). Planes: Fire & Rescue (DIS), 3,839 theaters (+13) / $2.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $8.2M to $9M (-51%) / Total cume: $35.5M / Wk 2
6). Sex Tape (SONY), 3,062 theaters (0) / $1.98M / 3-day cume: $5.8M (-60%) / Total cume: $26.8M / Wk 2
7). Transformers: Age Of Extinction (PAR), 2,476 theaters (-748) / $1.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4.8M (-51%) / Total cume: $236.6M / Wk 5
8). And So It Goes (CLARIUS), 1,762 theaters / $1.3M Fri. / 3-day cume: $4M+ / Wk 1
9). Tammy (WB), 2,562 theaters (-840) / $1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $3.4M (-54%) / Total cume: $78.2M / Wk 4
10). 22 Jump Street (SONY), 1,613 theaters (-616) / $767K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.59M (-45%) / Total cume: $185.7M / Wk 7
NOTEWORTHY: 12). A Most Wanted Man (RSA), 361 theaters / $700K Fri. / Per screen average: $6,011 / 3-day cume: $2.17M / Wk 1
15). Boyhood (IFC), 107 theaters (+73) / $428K Fri. / Per screen: $14,430 / 3-day cume: $1.5M (+32%) / Total cume: $3.9M / Wk 3
17). The Fluffy Movie (OPRD), 432 theaters / $350K Fri. / Per screen: $2,779 / 3-day cume: $1.2M / Wk 1
26). Magic in the Moonlight (SPC), 17 theaters / $115K Fri. / Per screen: $22,408 / 3-day cume: $381K / Wk 1
6th and 7th UPDATES, 6:05 PM, 6:40 PM: I’ve been watching the gross estimates rise all day on director Luc Besson’s Lucy, which is great news for its star Scarlett Johansson and for Universal Pictures which is distributing. As of 6 PM PST, the sci-fi actioner is on course to bring in a $15M to $17M Friday (which includes the 2.746M late night gross last night) for a revised estimate of anywhere between $37M and $42M. It’s playing in 3,173 locales. Paramount/MGM’s Hercules, in 3,595 locations, is still on track with earlier estimates and still on course for a $27M to $30M three-day, while And So It Goes is tracking a little better than $4M and may end up anywhere between $4M and $6M. The other newbie is The Fluffy Movie which may make anywhere between $1.7M and $2.5M for the weekend.
NOTEWORTHY: As of 6:40 PM PST, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, which marks the last major film of the late great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, is playing in limited release this weekend from Roadside/Lionsgate. It looks like it will end up in the Top Ten this weekend. It’s on 361 screens and is currently on track for a $2M+ three day.
3rd, 4th and 5TH UPDATES, 12:50 PM, 1:10 PM, 4:31 PM: The Scarlett Johansson sci-fi actioner Lucy is strong in matinees today and is expected to pull in more than $30M (probably mid to high, something like $32M-$36M) and Hercules right under $30M (maybe $27M-$30M) as it looks now at 4:31 PM. More numbers will come as the day progresses but expecting Lucy to nab $14M-$15M tonight (includes the late-night number of $2.746M) which is up from the 12:50 estimate. and Hercules taking in around $10M-$12M tonight (includes the $2.1M late-night numbers), that has been pretty much the same all day today. Like Lucy‘s, its reviews are also mixed.
The Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-starrer also launched yesterday in 11 international markets, including Australia and Russia, to gross an estimated $5M. The breakdown? $2.6M in Russia, which Paramount says is 40% higher than G.I. Joe: Retaliation and marks the third-best opening day of the year. The studio says its Malaysian gross of $335K is also 10% above G.I. Joe 2. In Australia, Hercules opened to No. 1 with a $590K take (and Par says it nearly doubled Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the #2 film in the marketplace).
It doesn’t hurt that Johnson was considered the No. 1 international star of last year both with G.I. Joe 2 and Fast And The Furious 6 in the marketplace. For those of you wondering, earlier this year, Lionsgate’s The Legend Of Hercules took in only $42.6M internationally with Kellan Lutz starring. Johnson obviously has a much bigger imprint internationally so we expect this one to do much better business. Lionsgate’s version of the film also only opened to $8.8M and went on to gross around $18M and (yawn) change domestically.
In matinees in the States, And So It Goes — Rob Reiner’s film starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton — may gross around $4M for the three day domestically based on an expected $1.8M-$2M Friday tally. It hasn’t gotten good reviews. While Gabriel Iglesias’ concert film The Fluffy Movie (in 432 locales) may bring in anywhere from $750K-$1M Friday — and that includes late shows of $75K. That’s how it looks for the moment. More updates as the numbers roll in.
2nd UPDATE, Friday, 9:46 AM: The actual number for Lucy just came in: $2.746M in 2,386 locales. The AMC issue got resolved and they reported actuals just a little while ago. Paramount’s actual is $2.1M, as previously reported.
UPDATE, Friday, 9:04 AM:The reporting on late nights took longer than expected because AMC had yet another computer glitch which interrupted box office reporting this morning. In fact, I’m hearing it was a total system failure yesterday and they are trying to fix it now with an AT&T technician on site now swapping out network equipment. It will impact all reporting if it is not up and running today. So, this is the best we got this AM: Luc Besson’s Lucy (UNI) bowed last night at 8 PM to $2.746M and Hercules which stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and was directed by Brett Ratner opened to $2.1M in late nights that began at 7 PM on 2,063 locations for Paramount/MGM. Given the AMC glitch, these are estimates.
Last night, Apes grossed $3.28M in 3,969 locations and Purge grossed $2.12M in 3,806 locales. We expect another tepid weekend until Guardians of the Galaxy lands in theaters next weekend. Last year at this time, Wolverine opened to $53.1M and The Conjuring was still playing hard in its second weekend after a $41.8M debut.
One comp for Lucy is Salt — the female actioner starring Angelina Jolie (although Salt was PG-13 and Lucy is R-rated). Salt opened to $36M in 2010. Meanwhile, Hercules is on IMAX screens until they get pushed aside for Guardians of the Galaxy starting next weekend which will have the big screens at least three weekends.
This computer problem at AMC happened before on the Wednesday of the July 4th holiday when the glitch caused technical difficulties transmitting hourly numbers, cutting off reports from 4 PM. to 3 AM, which sent everyone into a slight panic. Kansas City-based AMC Theatres (which includes Loews) has 341 locations and 4,945 screens and operates eight of the 10 highest-grossing theaters in the country. It also boasts the biggest market share in the country’s top three cities of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, so not getting their numbers transmitted is a big deal.
Uni recently moved Lucy up by two weeks into this weekend’s slot taking it out of August 8th — weekend that holds Warner Bros.’ tornado pic Into the Storm and Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is a big weekend for Scarlett Johansson, both domestically and internationally as she is headlining this actioner on her own. Will her fans from the Marvel movies follow her as a solo attack artist? The Marvel titles (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) certainly have helped raise her international presence. Lucy is set to open the Locarno Film Festival on August 6th and Besson showed extended clips at CineEurope in Barcelona a few weeks ago to get the buzz going with distributors abroad. Gotta love actioners led by female leads.
Lucy is also the last movie Besson has entrusted to big studio before he takes full ownership of his titles as he discussed with my colleague Mike Fleming at Cannes this year. After this, he will direct for Red, the pipeline that his own company (EuropaCorp) bought 50% of from Relativity. Also, EuropaCorp. recently hired its acquisition team and is poised to take on the Toronto Film Festival.
Lucy is not only on track to win the weekend at the box office but is also delivering the most social engagement activity — above Hercules, the Rob Reiner-directed And So it Goes (not surprisingly) as well as The Purge: Anarchy (in its second weekend) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Interestingly, a parody video created by YouTube superstar Ryan Higa (who has over 12M subscribers) pulled in 2.37M views as of this morning, according to RelishMix. That parody is also linking to the official trailer so is driving traffic into that. Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, the latter of which has 14M fans on FB, so his fans are engaging. That’s a lot of eyes.
In terms of ticket sales, Fandango reported that Lucy is outselling previous action thrillers such as Oblivion, Elysium, and Edge of Tomorrow at the same point in the sales cycle.
Two other movies are opening, too, and I am anxiously awaiting grosses for one of them: The Fluffy Movie from Open Road Pics — the concert film starring Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias’ in 432 theaters. He is wildly popular and across all age groups … including kids so with a PG-13 rating, I expect it to get some decent per screen numbers.
PREVIOUS, Thursday, 11:00 AM: Luc Besson’s Lucy (UNI) which stars Scarlett Johansson is tracking this AM at 28% first choice for moviegoers following by 17% for Hercules. The interesting part of tracking is how much better female interest is than males in both under and over 25. This is a female superhero movie, so it’s not surprising that females are more interested in wanting to see this but will they actually come? If they do, they will get over $40M and if not, look for it at least to head north of $30M. It opens at 8 PM tonight. The CinemaScore will be interesting to see on this movie which is getting a lot of mixed reviews.
It’ll take an easy No. 1 though over the other newcomers Hercules (PAR/MGM) and And So It Goes (which stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton in this comedic turn from Clarius). The other movie opening is comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias’ concert film Fluffy from Open Road in about 400 theaters. So there’s the group.
The No. 2 spot could go either to Hercules or to Apes in its third week but if you believe the tracking, it looks more likely to be Hercules (which opens at 7 PM tonight).
Hercules stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and that’s the only thing that should help boost this film. Other than The Rock, is the movie any different than the one starring Kellan Lutz? How many times can an audience see a Hercules title or a bad Hercules movie and think, yes, I want to go back for another? That being said, it could come in anywhere between $25M to a little under $30M while Apes right now with percentage decrease taken into account could make around $23M. Low $20Ms.
And So It Goes from director Rob Reiner will have to be happy with around $4M, according to how the tracking looks this AM. Older audience. That will bow tomorrow night in 1,762 locations. The overall business is kinda hurting right now. Everyone is looking to next weekend when Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy opens.