July 27, 2014 / 3:58 PM / 4 years ago

'Lucy' pummels 'Hercules' to win U.S. weekend box office race

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, July 27 (Reuters) - “Lucy”, starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain, collected $44 million to win at domestic box offices outmuscling “Hercules”, but both releases helped pump life into a lackluster summer at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

“Hercules”, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the title role, took in $29 million for second place, while “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” which topped the box office the past two weekends, finished third with $16.4 million.

“Lucy”, directed by French action film specialist Luc Besson, stars Johansson as a traffic-stopping, object-moving woman whose brain operates at abnormally high levels after a drug is planted in her body. The special effects-laden film was made for a relatively inexpensive $40 million, according to the movie site Box Office Mojo.

Made for a brawny $100 million, “Hercules” got mixed reviews from both critics and moviegoers, according to the site Rotten Tomatoes, with 50 of 80 reviewers giving it a “fresh” rating and 68 percent of those who saw it saying they liked it.

Both films exceeded opening weekend industry expectations.

“Lucy” was released by Universal, a unit of Comcast . Viacom’s Paramount Pictures studio and MGM jointly released “Hercules”. Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox, released “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”.

Reporting by Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by Stephen Powell

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