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
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‘Lucy’ To Open Locarno Film Festival
Luc Besson’s Lucy is set to open the Locarno Film Festival on August 6. Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman star in the sci-fi pic about a woman caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior. Besson showed extended clips at CineEurope in Barcelona a few weeks ago that handily demonstrated Johansson’s badass-ness in the vein of other of his strong female heroes. The director will be on hand in Switzerland to present the movie that’s produced by his EuropaCorp. Universal releases Stateside on July 25.
Brazil’s ‘SuperStar’ Gets Season 2 Renewal
Rising Star’s Brazilian version, SuperStar, has been renewed for a second season — this is the first renewal for a local version. Rede Globo has ordered a 14-episode second season of Superstar to air in 2015. The Keshet International format had its finale on Sunday and was the most-watched show of the night, peaking with a 33% share and 3M votes. It averaged a 31% share throughout the first season, during which the voting app was downloaded 3.2M times and about 25M votes were cast. The other international versions currently airing are in Portugal and the U.S. Season 2 of the original Israeli format is prepping up.
‘Mandela’ Getting Wide Release In China
In a first for a South African film in China, … Read More »
Universal said today that Luc Besson‘s sci-fi actioner starring Scarlett Johansson will unspool July 25, two weeks earlier than its announced date. Lucy had been set for the action-packed weekend of August 8, where it was pegged against Warner Bros’ tornado flick Into The Storm and Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, along with Disney’s The 100-Foot Journey. Instead, the EuropaCorp film co-starring Morgan Freeman will bow versus Paramount’s Hercules, Sony’s comedy Sex Tape and Lionsgate/Summit’s musical-drama sequel Step Up All In. Lucy stars Johansson as a woman who is tricked into transporting some very bad stuff that — unbeknownst to her captors — ends up transforming her into a merciless warrior. Vengeance and mayhem ensue.
Related: Hot Trailer: Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’
Luc Besson and Scarlett Johansson have teamed for Lucy, a sc-fi pic that centers on a woman caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior. Morgan Freeman co-stars, and Universal is releasing the pic from Besson’s EuropaCorp on August 8. Check out the trailer that dropped today. It reveals Johansson in full bad-arse mode a la other great Besson female heroes like Anne Parillaud in the original La Femme Nikita, Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element and Zoe Saldana in Colombiana:
Universal Pictures today set an August 14, 2015 release date for the fifth installment of the Bourne Identity franchise and confirmed Deadline’s scoop last month that Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin will direct the pic. Jeremy Renner returns as Aaron Cross for this chapter and Frank Marshall once again produces, alongside Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith for Captivate. Lin will also produce for his Perfect Storm Entertainment. Universal also announced today that the Scarlett Johansson-starrer Lucy will be released on August 8, 2014. Luc Besson directs the action thriller.
French director Luc Besson today publicly commented on incidents in Taiwan that earlier this week led to reports he was cutting his shoot time there short on sci-fi film Lucy. According to the Associated Press, Besson spoke with journalists in Taipei this afternoon and slammed overzealous paparazzi who made shooting at night “a nightmare.” But he denied he ever thought about getting off the island early. “I read in the newspaper that I was ready to leave,” he said. “This is wrong.” This confirms a report by Deadline’s sister publication Variety in which Christophe Lambert, CEO of Besson’s EuropaCorp, said the helmer wasn’t going anywhere until finishing his stint as planned. (It also speaks to what Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr wrote on Monday about Besson’s “stones” being such that the director was not one to run scared.) Besson shot in Taipei for 11 days with star Scarlett Johansson and was irked that shutterbugs were angling for shots of the actress in costume. “We don’t want pictures with new dresses of Scarlett,” he said, per the AP. “Sometime I lost a bit of my concentration because I’m bothered by that.” He pointed to two unnamed agencies from Hong Kong for special condemnation, the AP reported. With the Taiwan shoot now wrapped, Besson said work on the movie about “pure intelligence” will take another year.
The pack mentality of web journalists rushing to pick up every report in every publication around the world legitimizes exaggerated stories and all you can do is try to put proper perspective on them later. Seems that was the case with today’s early reports that director Luc Besson was cutting short his Taipei shoot of the science fiction film Lucy because paparazzi were being over aggressive trying to get snaps of Scarlett Johansson in costume. My former colleague Patrick Frater got to EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert, who told our sister publication Variety that Besson isn’t going anywhere until he finishes his stint there as planned. I interviewed Besson at Deadline Hollywood’s Contenders Event two years ago when he released The Lady, and he talked about sneaking into Burma when it was controlled by a strict military regime to shoot scenes for his film about the outrageous injustices perpetrated against Aung San Suu Kyi. Not only did Besson covertly get his shots, he filmed a crowd scene and asked everyone there to not put any information or photographs online because it would imperil him and his crew and possibly get the film’s subject (who was under house arrest) in more trouble. Not a single shot appeared anywhere, he said. Would a guy with stones like that run scared because of some pesky shutterbugs? C’mon.
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