Luc Besson’s Lucy, which lifted Scarlett Johansson into the realm of female action star, has passed $100M at the domestic box office for Universal. Adding in grosses from overseas, whhere the film is being handled by Universal and Summit, Lucy has made more than $130M worldwide — and it has 44 more territories yet to release, including Germany. On a budget of what Universal claimed to be $40M, this picture will turn a profit for all involved. It opened three weeks ago.
What really is noteworthy for Besson and his EuropaCorp. which is handling the picture in his home country of France, is that Lucy had the best opening day ever for the the director in that market. Not surprising, over the weekend, Besson also had the best opening of his career with Lucy in Turkey, Hungary, the Philippines, French-Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, where it also became Universal’s third-biggest opening of all time. It doesn’t hurt that Johansson has made her international footprint by appearing in so many Marvel titles (Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
Lucy‘s success couldn’t come at a better time for Besson as EuropaCorp, which takes full ownership of its titles after this film, as he discussed with my colleague Mike Fleming during the Cannes Film Festival this year. In the states, Lucy marked the second-biggest weekend ever for a French-produced film in the U.S., behind only Taken 2, which grossed $49M in its opening weekend (EuropaCorp/Canal Plus). EuropaCorp now has seven of the top 10 French-produced films in the States.
The next picture Besson directs will be for Red, the pipeline that his EuropaCorp bought 50% of from Relativity. Also, EuropaCorp recently hired its acquisition team and is poised to take on the Toronto International Film Festival.