Luc Besson’s R-rated sci-fi adventure, ‘Lucy’, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, grossed a powerful $44m from 3,173 theatres during its opening weekend at the North American box office after surviving a disappointing first night’ ‘C+’ CinemaScore with minimal impact on word-of-mouth. It was enough to give Johansson her best ever opening in a lead role and finish $4m above its production budget and $9m higher than market expectations.
Brett Ratner’s fantasy adventure, ‘Hercules’, made a decent start in second place with a $29m weekend from 3,595 theatres and should enjoy a solid hold after receiving a ‘B+’ CinemaScore. Although $4m above pre-release forecasts, the film’s $100m production spend leaves it relying heavily on the international markets for an acceptable return.
‘Hercules’ edged it with critics – 4% higher than ‘Lucy’ on RT at a 63% aggregate – but reviews didn’t influence the films’ box office performances either way.
The other wide weekend release – but in a more modest 1,768 theatres – failed to connect. Rob Reiner’s romantic comedy, ‘And So It Goes’, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, had to settled for a poor $4.5m in eighth place as a ‘B+’ CinemaScore could not overturn a critical mauling, which left it facing an appalling 15% RT overall rating.
Once again, the speciality market continued to make headlines. Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of John le Carré’s bestseller, ‘A Most Wanted Man’, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in his last major role, cracked the top ten with a strong $2.7m from just 361 theatres after excellent reviews gave it 90% on RT. And Woody Allen’s yearly release, ‘Magic in the Moonlight’, did better than expected with a $25,059 average from a limited 17 theatre release following lukewarm reviews.
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