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This weekend, Luc Besson’s Lucy topped the box office with more success than expected. You might say that the film performed above its potential. Coincidentally, the film is about a woman (Scarlett Johansson) who, through an unexpected side effect of being a drug mule, was able to access the full potential of her brain. This led her to various super powers, including being a genius in mathematical calculations, having the ability to diagnose medical conditions by hugging someone and controlling radio waves with her mind. The film rests on the belief that human beings only use about 10 percent of their brain’s full potential, and the drugs that leaked into Lucy’s system helped unlock the other 90 percent. It’s not the first time this theory has been brought to the silver screen. Bradley Cooper got similar powers in the 2011 film Limitless. Both the 90s cheese-fest The Lawnmower Man and the more down-to-earth 70s drama Charley »
- Kevin Carr
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
After Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes ruled over the Us box-office for two weekends running it was about time someone challenged them for the number one spot. Its competitors were more than worthy but there could only be one winner…
Luc Besson’s latest outing Lucy saw off Brett Ratner’s Hercules by more than $15 million. Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as the telepathic title character, opened in 3,173 cinemas across the country, earning around $44 million. Meanwhile, Hercules, featuring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as the mythical legend, opened in 3,595 cinemas and raked in $29 million. To add insult to injury, Lucy cost $40 million throughout its production, while her heavily CGI-ed competition cost around $100 million – ouch! You can read our Hercules review here.
Here’s the Us top five from last weekend:
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
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Scarlett Johansson is one of the hottest women on the planet, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t once have some awkward years. This week’s Transformation Tuesday is all about Scarlett’s evolution from precocious child actor in movies like Manny & Lo to self-conscious teen in Ghost World and the sultry-voiced woman we know from Lost In Translation. Now, Scarlett is ruling the box office with latest thriller, Lucy.
While Scarlett’s career has been on a steady rise for more than a decade, her fashion and beauty choices have been all over the map. From in-between teen to funky fashion mullet to dark and sultry locks and back to blonde bombshell again, Scarlett’s looks have run the gamut. We admire her for taking risks and always looking amazing. How does she do it? Enjoy this look back on Scar Jo’s style transformation. »
- Lauren Elizabeth Thompson
Chances are you went to go see Luc Besson's Lucy this past weekend judging from the almost $50 million in box office for the sleeper hit. The fun and bizarre trailers for the science fiction/action movie may not have prepared audiences for the type of movie they were about to see but director Besson knew what films he was drawing influence from to make the Scarlett Johannson action flick. The Film Stage tweeted one of the first pages to Besson's screenplay for Lucy which gave the director's »
- Alex Maidy
Hong Kong – Taiwan this week unveiled the Taiwan Film Institute, a new center spanning film promotion, restoration and education.
It replaces the Chinese Taipei Film Archive and also absorbs the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, which is held every two years and lacks a consistent organizer.
Backed by the Ministry of Culture, the Tfi will have an annual budget of Nt$170 million (Us$5.67 million), compared with less than Nt$40 million (Us$1.33 million) for the Chinese Taipei Film Archive and a further Nt$23 million (Us$768,000) per year for film restoration.
Board members include director Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wang Hsiao-ti, producer Lee Lieh and critic Wen Tien-hsiang. The launch was presided over by minister of culture Lung Ying-tai and welcomed at a ceremony by new Taipei mayor Eric Chu.
Last week the Ministry of Culture, which took over responsibility for film industry supervision from the old Government Information Office, allocated production »
- Patrick Frater
Life was given to us a billion years ago. What have we done with it?
Luc Besson is unique. He is a French action film writer-director-producer. His films are slick, tough, and thoroughly European. He is also almost certainly the most prolific human in film. In 1997, he wrote and directed The Fifth Element (1997). Since then, he has written 36 scripts or stories, directed nine, and produced about 100 (though IMDb does include a lot of uncredited producer titles). Not unlike Woody Allen, the break-neck speed of his production suggests there isn't a lot of time for second drafts and it can show. Then a movie like Lucy (2014) comes along and, while rough-hewn and requiring some limberness of credulity, shows the man at his apex. And it's wild.
- Jason Ratigan
Let's talk about bodies of work. As in an entire career versus another entire career. Come on. Focus on the acting. Focus on the movies. Fine, both Scarlett Johansson and Dwayne Johnson get most of their attention from being really, really good looking. Each actor had a new movie out this past weekend; Johansson in Luc Besson's Lucy, Johnson with Brett Ratner's Hercules. What happens when these two get into the ring and battle it out? Let's find out in this week's Film Face-off with Scarlett Johansson versus Dwayne Johnson. The Box Office Scarlett Johansson Johansson's three biggest films are Marvel's The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Iron Man 2, in which she plays...
- Jeff Bayer
"Lucy" dominated the box office this past weekend, but is it a good watch? HitFix staffers weighed the bests and worsts to the many elements of this genre-mashing movie, with that car chase, Scarlett Johansson, Scarlett Johansson's jeans, Scarlett Johansson's genes, Luc Besson's knack for cheap footage, bad guys, Amr Waked and more. Click through the gallery below, and see where we agree: what did you think about the third act? And the gunplay? And the romance, if we can call it that? "Lucy" hit theaters on Friday (July 25). »
- Katie Hasty
They said it couldn’t be done. They called me mad at the university. They doubted my math skills and insisted on hiring an accounting team from Pricewaterhouse Coopers. They debated whether or not there should be a hyphen between “box” and “office.” But here we are, fourteen weeks later, and our inaugural Summer Box Office Challenge has come to a successful end. The last weekend of releases saw some heavyweight newcomers, and after the dust settled an action film led by Scarlett Johansson severely beat down one headlined by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Did I mention she did it on a 60% lower budget too? Luc Besson’s Lucy brought in just under $44 million for the weekend — a great number for Besson and his highest opening since The Fifth Element in ’97 — and the hope is that Hollywood takes the right notes from these results. Last week’s bonus question asking which film would end up in fifth »
- Rob Hunter
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
At what point are we going to stop being shocked when a movie aimed at women with a female lead breaks out at the box office? Scarlett Johansson and the sci-fi thriller “Lucy” is the latest to do it, after a butt-kicking $44 million box-office opening this weekend that was bigger than just about anyone expected. “Having a woman in the lead definitely helped,” said Nikki Rocco, distribution chief at Universal, the studio behind the Luc Besson-directed thriller that topped its production budget in its first weekend. “Scarlett was terrific and that, along with the fact that the film was an. »
- Todd Cunningham
Sure, there were plenty of surprise appearances at this year's San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, but there were also a few celebs missing from the festivities. Scarlett Johansson and Joss Whedon are the first names that come to mind when we think of who we thought we were going to see at the convention. And let's not forget about The Hobbit himself, Martin Freeman. So how come these stars were absent from their respective panels? Let's take a look: First up, there's ScarJo. The blond bombshell was notably absent from her Lucy promotions and most likely focused on her major upcoming role: motherhood. The pregnant actress has been spotted out and about in Paris, where she's »
Luc Besson's "Lucy" opened this weekend, and if there was any doubt that audiences want to see Scarlett Johansson kick ass, those were put to rest. The movie outmuscled the Dwayne Johnson-starring "Hercules" for the top spot, and even managed to score better-than-expected reviews (including ours). Indeed, the critical community hasn't been this kind to a Besson film in years, and perhaps it has to do with the overall ambition of the film. Over the weekend, the filmmaker's Statement Of Intent—presumably from press notes or other materials from the film—started being tossed around online, and it draws some quick parallels for those looking to quickly understand his action thriller. He describes the shifting tones and narrative of the movie as going from "Leon The Professional" to "Inception" to "2001: A Space Odyssey." And while I haven't caught up with "Lucy" yet (I will, if only because »
- Kevin Jagernauth
A recent screening of the science-fiction action film, Lucy (2014) by French filmmaker Luc Besson has brought to mind a troubling question: Why do so many White filmmakers avoid the subject of race in science-fiction films that explore the creation of the world, humanity and/or the universe? Now the easy answer to what would appear to be the easiest question in the world might not be the best answer, but instead just the expression of a derogatory sentiment some people of color hold against Whites in general. For example, one could say that these White filmmakers avoid race in science-fiction films that feature an origin of man theory because they are racists themselves and »
- Andre Seewood
Scarlett Johansson was M.I.A. at Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, likely due to her pregnancy. As her movie Lucy soared the top of the box office for a $44 million debut, her Avengers: Age of Ultron co-star Robert Downey Jr. spoke to E! News' Kristin Dos Santos about their respective growing families. Robert recently revealed that he's expecting his second child with his movie producer wife, Susan Downey. "I've never had a daughter before, so I don't know what really prepares a dad. I'm asking around," the star admitted. "But I did my part and now I'm just going to show up and do what I'm told." He has a 20-year-old son, Indio, from a previous marriage and a 2-year-old »
Ahead of its UK release on August 22nd, Universal has just dropped a new UK quad poster for Lucy, director Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) latest action thriller, starring Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Check it 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.
- Gary Collinson
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
Wow, this year has been full of some ambitious filmmaking. Movies like Under the Skin have challenged the boundaries of cinema to show that art should not abide by any sort of rules or regulations.Snowpiercer was prime evidence that outlandish concepts allow creativity and fun to flourish. Now even filmmakers who have been primly associated with straightforward movies are getting in on the act.
Based on the marketing and Luc Besson’s name some may assume Lucy will be the latest Taken clone where a scantily clad Scarlet Johnasson travels around Europe bludgeoning random thugs for our mind numbing amusement. In fact that is not the case as Lucy shows even old directors can learn new tricks. Besson uses a La Femme Nikita »
- Dan Clark
Luc Besson's Lucy — which topped the North American box office this past weekend with a $44 million debut — features Scarlett Johansson as a woman who, accidentally caught in dangerous circumstances involving drugs, gains access to the full potential of her brain. The visuals include CG images to show the inside of Lucy's brain as it transforms, as well as many images reflecting periods of evolution. This gave sound designer Shannon Mills of Skywalker Sound a wide creative canvas. Photos 35 of 2014's Most Anticipated Movies "The whole movie is full of challenging sounds," Mills told The Hollywood
- Carolyn Giardina
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