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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The character from the biblical story of Moses who appeared in Noah but not in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Quick trivia question: Which character from the biblical story of Moses appears in the movie Noah but not in Exodus: Gods and Kings? The answer is below the jump.

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Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (dir. Ridley Scott, 2014)

exodus-DF-02770Early on in Exodus: Gods and Kings, there’s a scene in which Moses, who is still an Egyptian prince oblivious to his Hebrew heritage, confronts an Egyptian viceroy named Hegep, who is supposed to be building a new city for the Pharaoh but seems to have diverted some of the funds towards his own luxurious lifestyle. Hegep tries to deflect Moses’ attention by pointing to the troublesome Hebrew slaves, and says he needs more resources to deal with them. As proof of how rebellious these Hebrews are, Hegep says, “Do you know what ‘Israelite’ means in their own language? ‘He who fights with God’.” An annoyed Moses replies, “‘He who wrestles with God’. There’s a difference.”

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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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Watch: Exodus: Gods and Kings imagines what it would be like if the plagues came to modern-day cities

exodus-plaguesGive the publicity team behind Exodus: Gods and Kings points for creativity. The latest batch of videos asks you to imagine what the plagues would look like in modern-day cities such as London, Moscow, San Francisco and “Suburbia” — which is an interesting way of getting us to imagine what it might be like to sympathize with the Egyptians. Check ’em out below the jump.

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Moses movies — the article’s up! (plus three new videos)

exodus-relevant-23I haven’t fully resolved the computer problems that I mentioned a few days ago, but I did manage to finish an article on Moses movies for Christianity Today. It gives a brief history of films and TV productions that have dramatized the life of Moses going back to 1903, and it looks at some of the key themes that have been explored across those films, including the brand new Exodus: Gods and Kings.

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