ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

Lucy hit the $100 million mark during it's 19th day of release Tuesday, August 12.

While the $100 million mark isn't as exclusive as it once was (35 films released in 2013 hit the mark, while Lucy is the 20th film released in 2014 to do so), it is still the barometer for a hit in Hollywood.

Lucy will help shape the future of Hollywood and which movies get made and get jolted out of limbo. While that may seem to be giving a lot of influence to a modestly budgeted action-film that just hit the $100 million mark, please consider:

1.) First Scarlett Johansson easily out-muscled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on the final weekend of a very weak month at the box office. Lucy took first place with over $43.9 million it's opening weekend. Meanwhile, [Hercules](movie:365390) had to settle for runner-up with a lukewarm $29.8 million debut.

While The Rock may not be the MOST bankable action-star in Hollywood he IS a star. Defeating him in a film that was a comic-book movie and that should have been right in his - and his fans - wheelhouse, is not an insignificant accomplishment.

2.) While the opening weekend for Lucy didn't quite match similar movies like Wanted ($50.9 million) or Taken 2 ($49.5 million), it was at least in the same ballpark. The fact that it even came close is a fairly remarkable feat for this moderately-budgeted original action movie. Among other similar titles, it crushed "The Bourne Legacy" ($38.1 million) and "Salt" ($36 million).

3.) It's also the fourth Universal Pictures release to open north of $35 million this year; the other three are Lone Survivor, Ride Along and Neighbors (While Lone Survivor technically opened in 2013, it did not go into wide release until 2014). This is even more impressive considering all four titles are "original" (i.e. not sequels, prequels or spin-offs) and three of the four are rated R.

This is great news for those who are looking for original material instead of old franchises and reboots. It's success with original material can only give Universal incentive to get Namor out of limbo, for example. It would make sense for them to either finally move forward with the dole comic book property they own (Owned?) or finally relinquish the rights to Marvel Studios and focus on their own in-house ideas.

4.) The success of [Lucy](movie:935973) can be attributed to a few factors. First, the movie had an intriguing premise (what if we could use more than 10% of our brains?) that was front-and-center in action-packed, visually-stunning advertisements. It helped that actress Scarlett Johansson's lead role here seemed like a natural extension of the butt-kicking brand she's built as Black Widow in "The Avengers" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". Recognizing that audiences were connecting with the material, Universal made the savvy decision to move Lucy up from mid-August—where it would have been in a Guardians/Turtles/Expendables sandwich—to this less-competitive late July date.

This is key. The Hunger Games' phenomenon could possibly be dismissed by some in Hollywood as a once-in-a-generation anomaly. The success of Divergent was important. But even that could be chalked up by some to the hit-or-miss "Young Adult" craze. The success of Frozen could be attributed by some to be due to the animation and songs, which became a global sensation. Movies like The Heat and Identity Thief proved women would pay to see women being funny.

But Lucy proves, once and for all, that there is an audience to see a woman kick butt and take names, with a strong premise and a strong role. The says of actresses like Milla Jovovich tanking in films like "Ultraviolet" seem a distant memory.

With noting breeding imitators lie success, it should come as no surprise if, 6 months or so down the road, we find that, say, the success of the modestly budgeted Lucy ($40 million) didn't help spur long-in-development-hell properties like Witchblade, Shi and Red Sonja to finally move toward production.

It also is likely the success of Lucy has made people more likely to invest in films with modest budgets and kickass heroines like Painkiller Jane.

It goes without saying, of course, that the success of Lucy has made FOX more likely to come out with a Mystique movie, especially since they have the most bankable woman on the planet, Jennifer Lawrence, to play her. It also makes the solo film from Sony starring a female chacter form the "Spiderverse more likely.

You know DC/WB looked at the headline and were more determined than ever to bring a [Wonder Woman](movie:45787) movie to the masses.

As for Marvel Studios, they obviously feel if Johansson can make an original, modestly budgeted film that came out in late July a modest hit, then they would be printing money with a Black Widow solo film. They are also more likely to take a shot with solo films starring Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Gamora and many others.

Thank you, Lucy!


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