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Comic Con took place last week and Laremy and I dig into some of the reveals, offering thoughts on a few of the trailers that premiered, the images and new movies that were announced before answering your questions and voice mails, which bring up topics such as video game movies, Rotten Tomatoes and our favorite actors. Then we finish things off with our regular allotment of games. Hope you enjoy. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »
- Brad Brevet
Audiences seemed to go for it as well, the film scoring $44 million at the box-office this weekend, easily pushing aside Dwayne Johnson-starring "Hercules" to take the top spot. It is also scoring well with women, with around half the film audience being females of a variety of ages rather than the mostly male-skewing audience these kinds of action films tend to pull.
Now, Besson's Statement of Intent for the film has managed to make its way online where in it talks about how the film's three acts shift in tone and how by the third it becomes a strange reality-bending experience. Besson aimed high with the films he cites, including his own "Leon The Professional »
- Garth Franklin
From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Click the poster below to enlarge.
- David Sztypuljak
In a normal summer, a debut like the estimated $29.0 million opening for Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" would be reason for its creators and distributor to rejoice. After all, the movie did better than pundits had predicted (in the low 20s), and it enjoyed a healthy per-screen average ($8,067 per venue). As an action star with a track record, Johnson would be said to have delivered on his promise, and there would be backslapping and cigars all around for a $100-million PG-13 movie that would surely earn back its investment from both domestic and overseas audiences (who bought an estimated $28.0 million worth of tickets) .
And yet, that opening was good enough only for second place. Coming out more than 50 percent ahead to debut in the No. 1 slot was "Lucy," a French-made R-rated action movie starring petite Scarlett Johansson, shot for a modest (by action standards) $40 million. Playing on 422 fewer screens than "Hercules, »
- Gary Susman
Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" action film we up against Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" action film at the box office this weekend, with "Lucy" coming out a clear winner with $44 million in domestic earnings. "Lucy" is directed by Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element). The film had the biggest opening of any film in his career and earned nearly four times as much as his "Colombiana" action film, starring Zoe Saldana. "Lucy" cost $40 million to make, which means that it's already profitable. And with an international release still on its way, the new movie will be a major hit for everyone involved. It has a 58% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. "Hercules" had to settle for second place with a $29 million opening. That's a disappointing result for a movie that cost $100 million. But with another $29 million coming from international box office, "Hercules" has a good chance of ending up with a total »
Two super powered individuals went toe-to-toe at the box office, and the eventual winner proved brains beat brawn.
The number 1 film this weekend is Lucy (read our review) with $44 million. The premise might be extremely far fetched, but something about this unconventional sci-fi flick from director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Professional) struck a chord with audiences. It’s also already Besson’s second highest grossing film – behind the first Transporter – after its first three days.
Heading into the weekend, most expected Lucy to post halfway decent numbers, but few predicted it would hit $40M+. Clearly that Avengers and Captain America star power is strong with Scarlet Johansson.
Hercules (read our review) ...
Click to continue reading Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: July 27th, 2014
- Anthony Taormina
According to the action sci-fi thriller Lucy, using more than 10% of your brain's full capacity can allow you to bend the laws of physics and stop time. It also allows Scarlett Johansson to thoroughly trounce Dwayne Johnson in the battle for box-office supremacy.
1. Lucy – $44 million. Who could have guessed that a lot of people would want to watch Scarlett Johansson beat the hell out of a bunch of dudes? That's exactly what happened this weekend. While $44 million isn't record setting, director Luc Besson – creator of The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional – was able to create a blockbuster epic on a relatively modest $40 million budget.
2. Hercules – $29 million. While Dwayne Johnson beating up boars, lions and tattooed zombie people didn't draw as many people to the theaters as ScarJo punching gangsters »
Directed by Luc Besson.
A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Although it’s a complete fallacy, there is no denying that the scientific hypothesis that humans only use 10% of their brain and are capable of so much more is an intriguing one. So why the hell is it that no one can muster up an entertaining movie surrounding the concept? Limitless was admittedly a decent movie, but ultimately all Bradley Cooper did was use his extra brainpower as a get rich quick scheme. Don’t get me wrong, I would totally do the same thing in his position, but as a slice of pie in the crowded medium of film, it just wasn’t the most entertaining movie to watch. »
- Robert Kojder
Luc Besson has had an affinity for his female heroines throughout his entire career. From Leon: The Professional to The Fifth Element, Besson has always made femininity beautiful, complicated, and the clear dominant gender. With Lucy, Besson has eliminated the obstacles, giving his female lead control of everything. Whether this all works coherently in the film is another story entirely.
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is in the wrong place at the wrong time during a bad deal with terrible people. Like an animal being stalked and hunted, Lucy is dragged and drugged by a group of men led by a bloody handed tyrant named Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). She is forced into being a drug trafficker, with the transport being her body. An altered genetic narcotic, the drug is broken inside her body by some forceful men wanting to take further advantage of her. The drug coursing through Lucy expands her cerebral potential, »
- Monte Yazzie
Based on Friday's North American box office numbers, Universal Pictures' Lucy is set to earn between $42M to $44M in its opening weekend. The sci-fi actioner stars Scarlett Johansson ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier") and was directed by Luc Besson ("Léon: The Professional"). This will be the best opening weekend for a film starring Scarlett Johansson that wasn't produced by Marvel Studios. It will also be the best opening weekend for a film directed by Luc Besson. His previous best was $17M for The Fifth Element. However, the film was not well received by audiences as they only gave it a 'C+' CinemaScore. Paramount and MGM's Hercules will finish in second with $28M to $30M. It stars Dwayne Johnson in the title role. If the numbers stay about the same this will be the 8th best opening for a movie starring The Rock, just ahead of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island »
As a result of her new mental and physical talents – bestowed upon her by drugs that exploded inside her stomach – she becomes a commodity to the police force. With her skills, they hope to find the other drug mules and drug kingpin Mr. Jang (Min-sik Choi). Lucy’s talents amaze brain expert Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), who tries to help her control her unheard of capabilities and remain in control of her life.
Critics are split on what to make of the latest female-driven action film by Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element). On the one hand, there’s something to be said for Besson’s determination to push further and harder in new and insane directions in Lucy. Yet, on the other hand, »
Luc Besson loves his lady warriors. Beginning with the original La Femme Nikita, and then in action movies like The Professional, The Fifth Element, and The Messenger, he’s introduced his own brand of memorable action heroines. Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy might be the most hardcore of the bunch. She goes from party girl to super-evolved sorceress when the experimental drug an Asian gangster has smuggled in her body spills into her bloodstream, raising her brain activity to 100 percent capacity. “Lucy is a thinly drawn character, just someone who needs to survive,” writes EW’s Jeff Labrecque. “But Johansson vividly »
- EW staff
After the jump: Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback drop some Apes hints Luc Besson says it’s “too late” for a The Professional sequel 24 could still get a movie sequel, or another TV season Mad Max: Fury Road reveals a few more images We know that eventually, the story laid out in Rise of the Planet of […]
- Angie Han
Once upon a time, Luc Besson was a kind of anomaly. A popular director from France whose visually ravishing films featured both expertly made action scenes and doses of dreamy lyricism, he transcended cultural boundaries. Back then, of course, films like Subway, La Femme Nikita, and Léon: The Professional stood in sharp contrast to movies starring macho men like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Even his sci-fi action epic The Fifth Element, with its poetic flourishes and offbeat sense of fun, was nothing like the sci-fi blockbusters Hollywood churned out.Over the years, Besson has become a successful producer of more bread-and-butter hits like the Taken and Transporter franchises, but now, with the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick Lucy, he returns to the world of stylized, lyrical action. Besson takes an enticingly silly premise — Lucy (Johansson) is a hapless drug mule who accidentally ingests a powerful new drug that allows her »
- Bilge Ebiri
Two big films are out this weekend, which one is worth your time and money? First, we have .Hercules. starring Dwayne Johnson based on the graphic novel by Steve Moore. From director Brett Ratner, is this .Hercules. much better than .The Legend of Hercules. starring Kellan Lutz from director Renny Harlin?
We also have .Lucy. starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. This one.s from director Luc Besson who gave us memorable female characters in .La Femme Nikita,. .The Professional,. and .The Fifth Element.. Is .Lucy. worthy of Besson.s booty-kicking heroines? Find out in my movie review below:
Official .Hercules. synopsis
Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' film Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, bows on July 25th. Based on Radical Comics' Hercules by Steve Moore, this ensemble-action film is a revisionist take on the classic myth, Hercules. The epic action film also stars Golden Globe Winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, »
The son of scuba-diving instructors, Luc Besson came of age exploring the depths of the ocean floor and inventing stories out of the debris he would find along the shore. Some 50 years later, he is still playing with rocks in the sand — only now his shoreline is the river Seine and his castle a 667,000-square-foot film studio called Cite du Cinema (literally Cinema City). Built from the shell of a 1930s thermal power plant in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, the sprawling complex — which includes nine soundstages, a 500-seat auditorium and a full-service restaurant — is headquarters for Besson’s prolific production and distribution outfit, EuropaCorp, plus a host of affiliated vendors and two film schools.
On a recent Friday afternoon, despite a bank-holiday weekend in France, Cite du Cinema was a hive of activity as editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists readied two new EuropaCorp productions for their »
- Scott Foundas
Over the course of his dozen-plus films as a writer-director, Parisian auteur Luc Besson has become known for his stylish inversions of schlock genre fare and a certain, shall we call it, Vive la femme attitude toward women.
Time and again, his movies place emotionally fragile female characters in physically perilous situations: a conflicted hit-woman struggling with the perils of her job in 1990’s La Femme Nikita, 12-year old Natalie Portman on the run as an assassin-in-training in The Professional, and Milla Jovovich’s universe-saving alien Leeloo in The Fifth Element (1997) among them. Besson’s latest multiplex offering appears set to follow that template. »
- Chris Lee
Distributed by Universal, “Lucy” will unroll across 3,172 theaters this weekend and should shoot up an estimated $36 million. That would be a nice return on a $40 million budget and a sign that audiences don’t always need their on-screen mayhem to arrive pre-branded, pre-merchandised and plucked from venerable comic books or toylines. It’s the rare original film that looks ready to upend the steady stream of same-olds.
Sadly, “Lucy’s” main competition, “Hercules,” is looking less than godly. Paramount and MGM’s $100 million re-imagining of the old Hydra killer is on track to debut to roughly $25 million across 3,600 locations, which would be a scrawny showing given the high cost of the production.
- Brent Lang
If you're hung up on the fact Lucy perpetuates the myth humans only use 10% of their brain then I don't know why you're reading this review. However, if you thought Transcendence was a talky bore and wish there had been more action and less jibber-jabber then you might want to stick around since the two films essentially approach the idea of the singularity, but get there using dramatically different means. Directed by Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element), Lucy tells the story of the title character, played by Scarlett Johansson with all the wooden acuity of Keanu Reeves, as she is forced into serving as a drug mule, carrying a package of a new drug next to her intestines. Unfortunately for her, when she's kicked in the stomach a small amount of the drug leaks into her system, giving her abilities beyond that of a "normal" human being and »
- Brad Brevet
After her mesmerizingly out-there performances as an artificially intelligent being in “Her” and a come-hither extraterrestrial in “Under the Skin,” Scarlett Johansson takes a logical next step into the title role of “Lucy,” an agreeably goofy, high-concept speculative thriller about the first human being to successfully harness 100% of her brainpower. In no other sense, however, does the word “logical” apply to writer-director Luc Besson’s return to blockbuster form — which is to say, his latest aggressively stylish, self-consciously feminist, gratuitously globe-trotting pulp-trash extravaganza. Giddily recycling everything from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Matrix” to yakuza actioners and National Geographic documentaries, it’s a garish, trippy, wildly uneven and finally quite disarming piece of work, graced by a moment-to-moment unpredictability that will pique audience curiosity but may put off those who prefer their summer movies on the more conventional side.
Although it represents a significant roll of the dice as »
- Justin Chang
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