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July 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite the fact that the two newest films, Lucy and Hercules, opened well above analysts’ forecasts, the overall box office was down more than 13 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when 20th Century Fox’s The Wolverine opened with $53.1 million. The summer box office remains down 20 percent from a year ago and is likely to wind up as the worst since 2006. For the year, the box office is down 7.6 percent. Like NBC, its corporate sibling, Universal is having one of its best years in recent memory, with relatively low-budget features. Winding up in first place this weekend, Luc Besson’s Lucy brought Universal $43.9 million, according to final box office figures. It had cost about $40 million to make. Another Universal release, the horror flick The Purge: Anarchy, took in $10.5 million in its second week to bring its total to $51.86 million. It had cost just $9 million to produce. MGM/Paramount’s Hercules, which finished in second place, also came in ahead of projections, earning $29.8 million — but it cost more than $100 million to make. In its third week, 20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dropped out of first place, finishing in third with $16.8 million, to bring its gross-to-date to $172.5 million.