Lucy overpowers Hercules at box office

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Scarlett Johansson hammered Hercules at the weekend box office.

Her new science-fiction thriller, Lucy, was No. 1 at North American cinemas, taking in an estimated US$44 million (S$55 million) and proving that her name on the marquee (and pouty picture on the poster) could anchor a wide-release movie.

Lucy, which was marketed squarely on Johansson's shoulders, cost about US$40 million to make and was directed by Luc Besson.

Hercules, which cost about US$100 million to make, sold an estimated US$29 million in tickets, according to Rentrak, which compiles box-office data.

This latest cinematic take on the Greek demigod - starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Brett Ratner - raised entertainment industry eyebrows by receiving a PG-13 rating despite its depictions of visceral violence.

Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer expect Hercules to make most of its money overseas, where Johnson - aka the Rock - has a significant following.

Hercules took in an additional US$28.7 million over the weekend in 26 foreign markets, for a worldwide total of US$57.7 million.

Third place went to the sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, which took in US$16.4 million, for a three-week worldwide total of US$355.9 million.

 
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