My article on the Bible-movie revival is now up at the Christianity Today website; it will also be in the print edition of the magazine. The article looks at the fitful attempts made by the studios to cash in on the success of The Passion of the Christ since it came out a decade ago, it looks at the three Bible movies coming out this year — Son of God, Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings — and it looks at what might be next if Noah and Exodus are big-enough hits. It also includes soundbites from publicist Jonathan Bock, director Darren Aronofsky (Noah) and screenwriters Stuart Hazeldine (Paradise Lost, Gods and Kings) and Barbara Nicolosi (Mary).
Box-office update: Noah might get edged out of the top ten, Heaven Is for Real does better than expected, Son of God and God’s Not Dead begin to see some action overseas
Noah may or may not be in the top ten in this, its fourth week of release.
Deadline reports that Noah is virtually tied with God’s Not Dead and newcomer Disneynature’s Bears for the #9 spot, with a weekend haul of $4.8 million each. Box Office Mojo gives Noah the edge with an estimated $5 million, while Leonard Klady says God’s Not Dead is well behind the other two, with only $4.3 million.
In any case, one of those films will end up outside the top ten, in the #11 spot, when the final figures are released tomorrow. If Noah turns out to be that film, then it would have one more thing in common with Son of God, box-office-wise, as that film fell out of the North American top ten in its fourth week of release, too.
Box office update: Noah slips in N. America but stays strong overseas, while God’s Not Dead sets a new record
As expected, Noah is faring quite better overseas than it is in North America.
The film, which opened two weeks ago, is estimated to have earned $7.5 million in North America between Friday and today, bringing its total up to $84.9 million.
That represents a slip of 56.3% since last weekend, which is a steeper drop than Son of God had in its own third weekend last month. Both films dropped about 60%, give or take a percentage point, in their second weekends; but Son of God dropped only an additional 46.7% in its third weekend.
Box-office update: Captain America sets a record for April, Noah drops 61%, and God’s Not Dead stays strong
As expected, Noah fell to the #2 spot at the box office this weekend, coming in way, way behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which opened to $96.2 million: a record for a movie released in April and one of the biggest openings ever for a Marvel Comics movie that doesn’t feature Iron Man or Spider-Man.
Noah earned an estimated $17 million in North America this weekend, bringing its domestic total up to $72.3 million. That represents a 61.1% drop from last week, which is only slightly higher, percentage-wise, than the 59.5% drop that Son of God had in its second weekend, four weeks ago.
The box-office estimates are in for this weekend, and the news on that front is very good for Noah, and perhaps for the Bible-movie genre as a whole.
Audience reactions to the film, however, are more of a mixed bag, which could affect the film’s long-term prospects.
Noah made an estimated $44 million in the United States and Canada between Thursday night and Sunday, and it has earned another $51.1 million overseas; the film opened in Mexico and South Korea one week ago and opened in another 20 territories on Thursday or Friday.
The latest box-office estimates are in, and it seems that Son of God fell out of the top ten in this, its fourth weekend. The film earned $2.7 million between Friday and Sunday, or just a tenth of what it made when it opened three weeks ago. Its total gross now stands at $55.6 million.
The top ten won’t be without a Bible movie for long, though. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah opened in Mexico and South Korea this week and earned $14 million between those two countries, which bodes very well for its domestic release on Friday.