Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
July 29, 2014
Kim Hollis: Lucy, the Luc Besson-directed action flick starring Scarlett Johansson, opened with $43.9 million this weekend. What do you think of this result?
Edwin Davies: This is superb from pretty much every angle. It exceeded its modest budget of $40 million after its opening weekend, which means there's a very good chance that it'll see a profit stateside before international sales are taken into account. Those international numbers should also be pretty impressive since both Besson and Johansson have considerable appeal overseas. In terms of individual achievements, it's the best opening weekend of Luc Besson's career as a director and should surpass The Fifth Element to be his biggest US hit of all time before next weekend is out. Also, even if it has Godzilla/Amazing Spider-Man 2-type legs, it should still surpass He's Just Not That Into You to become Johansson's biggest non-Marvel film domestically. Maybe, just maybe, this will finally push Marvel into releasing a Black Widow film, because there's clearly a demand to see Scarlett Johansson kicking some serious ass.
Jason Barney: This is about as good as it gets for a non-franchise action flick. To best the budget of $40 million during opening weekend while the box office is at a relatively cool point - and against another action star like the Rock - is a pretty substantial accomplishment. As far as the numbers go, this is going to make a lot of money very quickly. Usually we are talking about a film like this recouping its cost over the course of several weeks, but Lucy is already eating into the advertising part of the expense sheet. Where it goes from here is anybody's guess, but even if there are big drops during weekends two and three, everyone involved can claim success.
I also think it is noteworthy to mention that Universal is more than just on a hot streak as John Hamann mentioned in the Weekend Wrap-Up. Universal is setting the standard for turning projects into money making machines. Yes, they have Lone Survivor, Neighbors, Ride Along, Non-Stop, and The Purge Anarchy as big bread winners this year, but this is on the heels of incredible achievements last year. Despicable Me 2 earned them boatloads of cash, and Fast and the Furious 6 did extremely well. Yeah, they are white hot.
Bruce Hall: This is phenomenal! As a director, Lucy promises to give Luc Besson his most successful North American title to date as Edwin mentioned. Unless everyone suddenly stops liking Scarlett Johansson next week, this will almost certainly be one of those surprise $100 million films we were discussing not too long ago. Besson's latest variation on the "pretty girl with weird abilities beats everyone up" genre (is he the Woody Allen of sci-fi?) also spent its first frame destroying the latest Brett Ratner abomination, which only further cements Luc Besson's status in my personal pantheon of "guilty pleasure" filmmakers. Prepare yourself for the sequel. My guess is it was greenlit before the sun came up over L.A. this morning.