LOS ANGELES -- Luc Besson's "Lucy" proved mind can overpower muscle, topping a remake of "Hercules" by director Brett Ratner at the box office on the weekend.

The Universal Pictures-released movie starring Scarlett Johansson as an accidental psychokinetic took in $44 million in North American movie theaters over the weekend.

"Hercules," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and produced by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, brought down $29 million.

Universal's president of domestic distribution, Nikki Rocco, said audiences were attracted to the original story about the main character gaining superhuman powers by using more and more of her brain.

"The main reasons for coming to see the film were the story, and then Scarlett," Rocco said. "She's very diversified in what she does. Luc brought out the best of her in this movie."

Meanwhile, Johnson's draw with men, women and children helped PG-13-rated "Hercules" power into the No. 2 spot.

Megan Colligan, Paramount's head of domestic marketing and distribution, said Johnson once again proved his appeal as a global action star who fights bad guys with a "a wink and a smile."

Despite the two films' solid performances, the summer box office is still down by around one-fifth compared to last year, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak.

The Top 10

(figures in millions)

1. "Lucy" $44

2. "Hercules" $29

3. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" $16.


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4. "Purge: Anarchy" $9.9

5. "Planes: Fire & Rescue" $9.3

6. "Sex Tape" $6

7. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" $4.6

8. "And So It Goes" $4.6

9. "Tammy" $3.4

10. "A Most Wanted Man" $2.7