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Scarlett Johansson's Lucy out-muscles Hercules at US box office


Story by Jack Foley

SCARLETT Johansson’s Lucy has out muscled Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules to top the US box office on its opening weekend.

The film, directed by Luc Besson, opened to $44 million to take top spot, way ahead of the second placed swords and sandals epic, which debuted to an estimated $29 million for director Brett Ratner.

The figure for Hercules was lower than had been hoped by Paramount, given that the movie cost at least $100 million to make. But it remains on course to recoup its budget and is performing well internationally, where it took in $28.7 million including $12 million in Russia. Overall, the Johnson star vehicle took $57.7 million globally.

Lucy features Johansson as a woman who ingests a drug that gives her extraordinary abilities and co-stars Morgan Freeman. It was critically panned but Johansson’s pulling power remains exceptional.

Welcoming the figures, Universal distribution chief Nikki Rocco told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a great result in every depressed marketplace. And I think it says that more female action stars are called for.”

Elsewhere at the US box office, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continued to perform well in its third weekend, placing third with $16.4 million. In the US alone, the sequel has now taken $172.1 million, nearly as much as the $176.8 million earned by Rise of the Planet of the Apes in North America.

Horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy placed fourth with $9.9 million for a total $51.3 million, while animated family sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue rounded out the top five with $9.3 million for a US total of $35.1 million.

Of the other new releases, Rob Reiner’s poorly reviewed romantic comedy And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, opened eighth with a soft $4.6 million.

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