Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings loses its audience faster than any recent Bible movie or Ridley Scott film

exodus-yahoo-5Exodus: Gods and Kings already had the smallest first-weekend gross of the year’s three Bible movies. Now it has the steepest second-weekend drop.

Exodus earned an estimated $8.1 million this weekend, which represents a drop of 66.6% since last week. (Yes, that’s the actual number being floated by Box Office Mojo.) That’s steeper than the 59.5% by which Son of God dropped in March and the 61% by which Noah dropped in April.

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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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Box-office forecast: How will Exodus: Gods and Kings perform theatrically compared to Noah?

exodus-scott-baleThe Hollywood Reporter says Exodus: Gods and Kings may gross between $25 million and $30 million when it opens in North America this weekend.

That would be slightly ahead of the $25.6 million that Son of God opened to in February, but considerably behind the $43.7 million that Noah opened to in March — but movies that open in December tend to stay afloat over the holidays, so Exodus could still be the year’s biggest Bible movie when all is said and done. (The Prince of Egypt, to cite one precedent, opened in December 1998 to only $14.5 million and still grossed $101.4 million in total — which is slightly more than Noah made in North America.)

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings opens behind Noah in Mexico and South Korea, beats it in Spain

vlcsnap-2014-11-10-10h40m49s174It doesn’t open in North America for another five days, but Exodus: Gods and Kings has been playing overseas for a few days now, and so far it seems to be off to a fairly healthy start for a Ridley Scott film — but it may not be doing as well as the other big Bible movie of the year, i.e. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.

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The Omega Code and the mainstreaming of Christian film

omegacodeThe always brilliant Darren Franich had a new article up at Entertainment Weekly over the weekend, in which he took a look at the movies of 1999 — once dubbed “the year that changed movies” by his bosses — and asked how well those films have stood the test of time.

That was the year when everyone thought The Matrix would take the place of Star Wars as a sci-fi myth for our times. That was the year when The Blair Witch Project invented the found-footage horror subgenre and proved the value of viral marketing campaigns. That was the year when young, hip directors like David Fincher, David O. Russell and Spike Jonze produced instant cult hits like Fight Club, Three Kings and Being John Malkovich, all of which came out in October of that year. And so on.

But there was another game-changer released in October 1999 that Franich doesn’t mention — a movie that may be pretty silly but still set a new precedent.

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Box-office update: Guardians of the Galaxy breaks more records while the “faith-based” genre underperforms

guardiansofthegalaxyThis is my first box-office update since July, and a lot has happened since then.

The big news, of course, is the phenomenal success of Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that was based on one of the more obscure Marvel properties, had no major stars, and revolved around some pretty wacky ideas (like a talking, machine-gun-toting raccoon), yet still managed to become the top-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie without Iron Man, at least in North America.

Overseas, it ranks behind all of the Marvel sequels, but ahead of all their other “original” films except for The Avengers — and that was really kind of a super-sequel, too. So you could say that, worldwide, Guardians of the Galaxy is the top-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that introduced a new set of characters.

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