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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Noah news round-up: Has it been banned overseas already? Plus a note on one of the visual effects companies.

The other day, it was reported that three Muslim countries had banned Darren Aronofsky’s Noah — not necessarily because of its content, but simply because it offers a visual depiction of one of “the prophets”. But now it turns out that reports of the film being censored in at least one of those countries might be premature.

Gulf News says the film has not yet been banned in the United Arab Emirates, and it quotes Juma Obeid Al Leem, a representative of the country’s National Media Council, to the effect that “We haven’t decided whether it’s OK or not. We will decide after watching the full movie next week and after a report is made.”

At this point, very few people have seen the finished film. As of a week ago, the filmmakers were still putting the final touches to the sound mix, and the film has not yet been rated by any of the classification boards in Canada, the United States or Great Britain. However, the film will have its world premiere in Mexico City just two days from now, so if it isn’t finished yet, it should be very very soon!

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See the Flood destroy the Earth in 3D — but only overseas!

If you didn’t know any better, you might think Paramount was feeling a bit nervous about Noah’s box-office prospects in North America, and was pinning all its hopes (well, a lot of them, anyway) on the film’s foreign prospects. Consider:

Some of the first images from the film were revealed to the public in conjunction with a screening of some footage in Spain. The first poster for the film was tailored for European audiences — with the European logo design and the European tagline and a European website address — and was released over two months before the North American poster. And now, The Hollywood Reporter says Paramount is spending $10 million to convert the film to 3D — but only for certain overseas markets.

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Is Ridley Scott’s Exodus the first Bible epic to be shot in 3D?

The first big wave of 3D films came and went in the early 1950s, right around the time when Bible epics were surging in popularity — but to my knowledge, the two trends never met. No Bible films were made in 3D back then, nor have any Bible films been made in 3D since then.

Well, that all changes right now, because it turns out Ridley Scott is shooting his life-of-Moses movie Exodus in 3D, and doing so with the same cinematographer who produced such fantastic 3D images for him in last year’s Prometheus. We can only hope that the script they’re working with will be much, much better this time, but it seems a safe bet that Exodus will look great, at least. The IMDb has the details.

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Is waving things at the camera always a 3D gimmick?

Yesterday, I was watching The Adventures of Tintin with the kids, and I was struck — not for the first time — by the way some images that were obviously designed for 3D can look a little odd, composition-wise, when viewed in a 2D format.

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Peter O’Toole announces his “retirement” from acting

Peter O’Toole announced his retirement from acting yesterday, and I must admit I’ve been dwelling on Bible movies enough these past few days that my first thought was, “Well, I guess that’s another part that the makers of Mary Mother of Christ will have to re-cast!” O’Toole had been attached to play Symeon, the old man who was informed by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah (as per Luke 2).

It wasn’t the first time O’Toole had agreed to play a small part in a Bible movie. In the early days of his movie stardom, he played the angels who bring condemnation to Sodom and Gomorrah in The Bible: In the Beginning… (1966), which I’ve always been inclined to see as sort of a meta-sequel in which O’Toole gets revenge for the rape his character endured in a similar Middle Eastern town in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). More recently, he played the prophet Samuel in the prologue to the Book of Esther adaptation One Night with the King (2006).

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