Ben-Hur news round-up: Reporters visit the set in Rome, the soundtrack is now available for streaming, and more

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Another week, another round-up of Ben-Hur-themed news items.

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Sex, violence, and a clear look at the face of Jesus, all in 3D: a new trailer shows this isn’t your grandfather’s Ben-Hur

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The new version of Ben-Hur has always seemed like a bit of an odd beast. On the one hand, it is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, an action-movie stylist and horror-film producer best-known for Wanted and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it counts “faith-based” power couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey — creators of The Bible and A.D. The Bible Continues — among its producers.

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Watch: A new TV spot for Of Kings & Prophets, and more

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Is Of Kings and Prophets going to be shown in 3D? Probably not, but a new TV spot almost makes you think it might, thanks to the people and objects that pop out of the image and into the black bars at the top and bottom of the frame — an effect that has been used in 3D movies like G-Force and Life of Pi to make it seem like the films are leaping right off the screen. Check out the new TV spot, along with some other videos and a new interview with executive producer Chris Brancato, below the jump.

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings gets mixed results

exodus-royalfamily-2-nologoIt looks like the most expensive Bible movie of the year will have the smallest first weekend of the bunch, at least in North America.

Exodus: Gods and Kings, which reportedly cost $140 million to make, is estimated to have earned about $24.5 million this weekend — which is slightly less than the $25.6 million that Son of God, a repackaged TV show, opened to in February. It is also just a little more than half the $43.7 million that Noah, which cost $125 million to make, opened to in March. And Exodus owes 44% of its box-office take to higher-priced 3D screenings, whereas Noah and Son of God were released in 2D only on this continent.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings: new footage of Moses, Ramses and Zipporah in a featurette on the 3D photography

exodus-3d-11Exodus: Gods and Kings isn’t the first Bible movie to be released in 3D — Darren Aronofsky’s Noah was released in that format in some foreign markets — but it is the first Bible movie to be shot in 3D, so it makes sense that there is now a featurette (first posted at Entertainment Focus) that focuses on Ridley Scott’s decision to shoot the film in that format. And, as luck would have it, the featurette includes at least thirteen new shots from the film itself. Check ’em all out below the jump.

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Noah news round-up: a box-office milestone, distribution difficulties in the Philippines, and Rob Moore speaks

Paramount announced today that Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has grossed $300 million worldwide since it first opened in Mexico and South Korea on March 21.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Noah is the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year worldwide so far, behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($586.7 million), The Lego Movie ($441.7 million) and 300: Rise of an Empire ($329.2 million).

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