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Caesar crossed the Rubicon and headed straight for China this weekend, as “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” topped the foreign box office.
The post-apocalyptic thriller hasn’t snagged first place on the overseas charts since the end of July, but it was able to recapture the crown on the strength of its People’s Republic debut. The film took in $51.2 million from 29 territories, with $47 million of that coming from China.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” now commands a worldwide total of $613.4 million, roughly $130 million more than its predecessor, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” made during its entire global run. It has two more openings on the books; Japan and Venezuela in September.
Sliding in at number two was “Lucy.” The Scarlett Johansson thriller racked up $31.2 million to bring its global haul to $269.4 million. This weekend it surpassed “The Fifth Element” and its $263.9 million total »
- Brent Lang
The Life After #2 (Oni): The first issue of Josh Fialkov and Gabo’s The Life After was one of the best first issues I’d read in a while—a twist on purgatory guest-starring Ernest Hemingway and some mysterious figures. But this one? Whole different ballgame. Hemingway’s still around for comic relief, but there are also tentacle monsters and a horrifying dreamscape full of teeth and blood and misery. People are jumping off bridges for eternity, and there is a not-so-subtle indication that “God” is a giant pile of mouthy flesh. In short, this is one weird book, and that makes it a must-read. I honestly can’t wait to find out what happens next, as cliché as that phrase is. I hope it involves more monsters and Hemingway with a shotgun, because what else do you really need in life? 9/10
The Saviors #5 (Image): Before this issue, »
- Holly Interlandi
★★★★☆There's a popular myth often perpetuated in movies that humans only employ a small percentage of their brain's capacity. One of the reasons this idea endures is the following assertion that there is the potential for us to unlock untapped mental power if only we could breach the fabled 10% barrier. With just a sliver more brain power, we might be super-intelligent or have even greater capabilities. These myths form the basis of The Fifth Element (1997) director Luc Besson's latest science fiction adventure, Lucy (2014), starring the excellent Scarlett Johansson. Having taken the Us box office by storm, this undeniably silly, but raucously entertaining, off-the-wall transhumanist actioner is an absolute riot.
- CineVue UK
Coming from the mind that brought us Leon and The Fifth Element, Luc Besson, Lucy is yet another piece of fiction that grabs onto the myth that humans only use ten percent of their brain capacity, and tells a story of a mere human gaining extraordinary powers by accessing those unused parts of their brain. We've seen it in the likes of Limitless and Phenomenon, and the myth even forms part of the origin of the DC Comics character Deathstroke. It is pure bull cocky of the highest order, but presents unlimited narrative possibilities, so it's understandable that it still pops up in fiction from time to time. In the case of Lucy, it veers closer to trying to pass it off as science fact as opposed to science fiction, but that misstep aside, this is an exciting and visually stunning action flick, with Besson firing on all cylinders for »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Luc Besson rarely does things in small doses and his latest action flick Lucy starring Scarlett Johannson as a woman who inadvertently ingests a drug that gives her extraordinary abilities isn’t an exception. It has now raked in over $170 worldwide and has become the director’s most successful opener in his native France, dismounting the 1997 futuristic hoot The Fifth Element.
Despite the success Besson is adamant that a sequel will not happen any time soon. Whilst on promotion duties in Tapei – where a large portion of the movie takes place – Besson addressed the sequel talk with local media outlets: “I don’t see how we can do one. It’s not made for that…If I find something good enough, maybe I will, but for now I don’t even think about it.”
It’s refreshing to think that in this day and age – considering the sheer abundance of »
- Gavin Logan
Luc Besson flits very easily between the sublime and the ridiculous, gifting the world with Léon in the early days of his career before proceeding to make visually striking, utterly silly action thrillers like The Fifth Element, Taxi and The Transporter series (as writer/producer). Lucy falls squarely into the second category; a screwball sci-fi caper with Besson going full speed ahead into far-out territory. Perversely though, it's that willingness to stretch beyond all logic and reason that keeps you watching.
His opening gambit is a damned good one, however, with Scarlett Johansson's titular American college girl getting roped into a drugs smuggling deal by her latest squeeze in Taipei, clueless about the contents of the briefcase he chains to her wrist. Besson milks every bit »
Directed by Luc Besson.
When forced to partake in a drug-dealing operation across countries, student Lucy is harassed and beaten, only to have the drugs seep into her system. Chased by cops and gangsters, Lucy begins to use the deepest, darkest parts of the brain to escape and control the world around herself.
Lucy asserts itself from the start. Cells form and apes evolve, immediately confirming its ambitious intentions. Luc Besson, of The Fifth Element and Leon, boldly throws the titular character into a situation she, and we, barely understand. Scarlett Johansson has supported the Avengers, and notably, this year she was second-billing in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Lucy becomes her first leading film as a sci-fi, action heroine, complementing her indie work with Spike Jonze in Her and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. »
- Simon Columb
Ahead of its UK release on August 22nd, Universal has just dropped a load of new images for Lucy, director Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) latest action thriller, starring Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Check them out below and read our review here…
Lucy is set in a world that is run by the mob, street gangs, drug addicts, and corrupt cops. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, is forced to work as a drug mule for the mob. The drug implanted in her body inadvertently leaks into her system, changing her into a superhuman. She can absorb knowledge instantaneously, is able to move objects with her mind, and can not feel pain and other discomforts.
- Luke Owen
A handful of new cast members have been added to director Jim O’Hanlon’s A Hundred Streets, which follows London residents from all backgrounds whose paths cross in a turn of dramatic events. Joining the previously announced Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton are Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Ken Stott (The Hobbit), Charlie Creed-Miles (The Fifth Element), Steve Mackintosh (Luther), Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey), and Emma Rigby (Plastic). Barks will play Lotte, ex-girlfriend to rich playboy Jahmal (Adaam Bakri), who re-enters his life alongside her best friend (Rigby); soon, Jahmal makes a life-changing choice that sends him on the run with ex-special forces security guard, »
- C. Molly Smith
Director Jim O’Hanlon’s “A Hundred Streets” announced new cast members today, including Samantha Barks (“Les Miserables”), Ken Stott (“The Hobbit” series), Charlie Creed-Miles (“Wild Bill,” “The Fifth Element”), Steve Mackintosh (“Luther,” “Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels”), Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”) and Emma Rigby (“Plastic,” “Hollyoaks”). They join previously cast stars Gemma Arterton and Idris Elba.
In the vein of “Crash” and “Amores Perros,” the film follows London residents both surviving the day-to-day grind of everyday life as well as those living the opulent lifestyles of the wealthy, showing how the contrasting lives of these people can lead to interconnecting existences as they face dramatic choices and change in their lives.
Barks plays Lotte, the ex-girlfriend of rich playboy Jahmal (Adam Bakri), who re-enters his life with her best friend (Rigby) at a moment that forces him into a life-changing decision that sends him on the run, chased »
- Kevin Noonan
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.
In this interview for Nerdly , film correspondent James Kleinmann asks director Luc Besson where the initial concept for the story came from.
Check out our Lucy review here. »
- Phil Wheat
Concept Art by Eduardo Peña 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. Lucy also stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp. Universal Pictures will distribute the movie worldwide, except for France, Benelux and China. »
Concept Art by Ben Mauro Click Here - More Lucy Concept Art 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. Lucy also stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp. Universal Pictures will distribute the movie worldwide, except for France, Benelux and China. »
Distribbed by Besson’s own EuropaCorp Distribution, “Lucy” nuked all opposition, taking a 43% market shasre and storming on Wednesday to 351, o54 tix sales off 615 copies, per Cbo-BoxOffice.com: About $3.0 million in one-day gross box office. Figure does not include prior sneak-peak premieres.
Opening marks the best-ever first day for a Besson-directed movie – and many of the 55-year-old director’s titles have gone boffo in France – and the fourth-best first day of any film this year, only bettered by Fox’s “How To Train Your Dragon 2” (427,234 admissions) and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and Dany Boon’s “Superchondriac,” distribbed by Pathe (367,153).
Explanations for the boffo opening: Huge anticipation at »
- John Hopewell
This story first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Two decades before the Scarlett Johansson starrer Lucy opened July 25 at No. 1, French director Luc Besson's first English-language film, The Professional, opened respectably in fifth place. THR called the 1994 movie, which grossed $45 million worldwide on a $16 million budget, a "stylishly executed, ballistic thriller." One reason Besson had done the film was to prepare linguistically for his next production, 1997's megabudget The Fifth Element (where he would meet future wife Milla Jovovich; they divorced in 1999) with its American
- Bill Higgins
Locarno – For decades now, Luc Besson, a director who gave French cinema a huge shot of mainstream action-traction and grandfathered – though not old himself – a new generation of Gallic action directors, has been dubbed, and sometimes dismissed in his native France, as “American.”
That, from Besson’s point-of-view, would appear to be an over-simplification.
Fresh off an $81.9 million first ten-day U.S. bow for the Universal-distribbed “Lucy,” the Luc Besson who spoke at the press conference at Locarno Fest, which “Lucy” opened on Wednesday, was a full-on supporter of the world’s new multi-culturalism in an Internet age.
Like Lionsgate-Summit “Now You See Me,” from Besson alum Louis Leterrier, or indeed “Taken” and “Taken 2,” both produced by Besson’s EuropaCorp, “Lucy” globe-trots with a modern-day ease, in location, characters, thesps and filmic influences.
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Luc Besson: "I am a bit like the great chefs who pick up tips and recipes from their travels. My greatest fear is to make the same film. I am not interested in that. I always want to go in different directions ..." Photo: Richard Mowe French filmmaker Luc Besson is the closest France has to a movie mogul with his company Europa Corp, which is a major partner in a recently opened studio in Paris, Cité du Cinéma. He has produced or co-produced some 100 movies across an eclectic range of genres, all aimed for international success and many - such as the Taken franchise - targeted at the mass market.
Now he has returned triumphantly to the director’s chair with Lucy featuring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, already a breakaway hit of the summer and very much in the Besson mould of films with strong female roles at their core (Nikita, »
- Richard Mowe
Scarlett Johansson stars as the titular character Lucy, a young American student living in Japan who ends up as a drug mule. Everything changes for her when a bag of the synthetic drug CPH4 bursts in her stomach, resulting in some rather impressive mental and physical powers.
The featurette shows clips of the film along with extracts from an interview with Luc Besson, and the director speaks of the value of seeing Lucy in IMAX theatres, likening the experience to driving a Ferrari. Check it out:
Besson has a penchant for fusing quirky action with strong female leads. Nikita, Leon and The Fifth Element all feature feisty females. Audiences, however, will have to decide whether they’ll gain more from watching Lucy in IMAX rather than the standard cinematic experience. »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
If the Bourne and Transporter movies are enough to make a trend, “legacy” is the new action-movie code word for reboot.
Variety reports that Luc Besson’s (Lucy, The Fifth Element) EuropaCorp has announced the title for the first installment of a new Transporter trilogy: The Transporter Legacy. The film will star Ed Skrein (pictured above) as a young frank Martin—Jason Statham’s character in the original Transporter movies.
- Jackson McHenry
If you’ve been waiting for just one shoe to drop for Marvel Studios and their streak of entertaining superhero films to end with Guardians of the Galaxy, you had better hold your breath… at least until the Ant-Man movie. When first announced, Guardians of the Galaxy was met with skepticism and trepidation (myself included) given that there was no link to the Avengers in any sort, the story took place in deep outer space, and it featured a gun-toting smack-talking raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and a living tree (Vin Diesel). But anyone who has read or is reading the comics, both the current run, and the essential Volume 2 (2008-2010) by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, knew its potential for taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe to places where there are no limits–if they could pull it off. Boy, did they ever.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted by aliens shortly »
- Ernie Estrella
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