Will ‘Lucy’ Beat Out ‘Hercules’ at Weekend Box Office?

An action movie showdown will be taking place at the box office this weekend with the release of both Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy and Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules. Both films are making their debut in more than 3,000 theaters, but pre-release tracking is already indicating that Lucy will come out the winner.

Lucy, directed by Luc Besson, follows a woman who finds herself developing superhuman capabilities after a drug forcibly implanted in her body by the mob starts to leak into her system. The drug gives her the capability to use more than the “average” 10 percent of her brain’s capacity, which proves useful when she seeks out revenge on her attackers. Besson has plenty of experience creating movies about strong female characters, with his past works including La Femme Nikita and The Professional. The film, also starring Morgan Freeman, cost a reported $40 million to produce and, per Box Office Mojo, is expected it draw at least around $30 million, with some predicting it could top $40 million.

This could be in large part, due to the film’s heavy promotion, which amped up the intrigue to draw in audiences. The movie also received relatively decent reviews, with a 67 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not to mention, the movie’s release was pushed up a couple weeks ahead of its initial August date when it would’ve battled blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Turtles. The new released date may help it knock Dawn of the Planet of the Apes out of its two-week run in the top spot at the box office and perform just as well internationally.

Meanwhile, Hercules, Brett Ratner’s first directorial turn since 2011, is poised to come in second place. The movie adaptation of the Radical Comics story stars the buff Johnson as the Greek god, fighting against an oppressive warlord. Though it was similarly reviewed, with a score of 69 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the flick is only projected to make around $22 million during its opening weekend – a pretty disappointing figure, especially considering it had reported budget of $100 million. This could just be a matter of audiences being tired of the story, particularly since we just saw Kellan Lutz take on the role in The Legend of Hercules in early January.

Also opening this weekend is Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes, starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas. The film is opening in around 1,800 theaters and could potentially become enter the top five at the box office with a predicted $8 million gross.

Two high-profile flicks are also making their debut at the specialty box office. Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, will be released in seventeen theaters in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Anton Corbijn’s thriller A Most Wanted Man, based on the book by John le Carre and starring Rachel McAdams and the late actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, is opening in 360 locations across various markets.

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