PARIS, July 28 French film director Luc Besson
was over $5 million richer on Monday after his film "Lucy"
starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered
brain topped the North American box office at the weekend.
Shares in film making company Europacorp, in which
he holds a 44 percent stake or some 12.94 million shares,
climbed 7.5 percent to 4.15 euros each, valuing his holding at
53.7 million euros, up by 3.75 million ($5.04 million) from
Friday's stock market close.
"Lucy" collected $45 million at the weekend, Europacorp said
in a statement, outmuscling "Hercules", which took in $29
million for second place.
Johansson plays a woman who can stop traffic and move
objects with her mind after a drug planted in her body causes
her brain to operate at abnormally high levels.
The special effects-laden movie was released by Universal
Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, and made for a
relatively inexpensive $40 million, according to the movie site
Box Office Mojo.
Gilbert Dupont analyst Jean-Baptiste Sargeant said even
though royalties would not come through for two or three years,
"Lucy's" strong showing would have an instant image-related
impact for Europacorp.
"It's simpler to attract big cinema names when you can
leverage a success," he said.
(1 US dollar = 0.7442 euro)
(Reporting by Andrew Callus and Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier;
Editing by James Regan)