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

Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings loses its audience faster than any recent Bible movie or Ridley Scott film December 21, 2014

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.

Exodus, which opened at #1 last week, had to settle for #4 this week, behind the third installments in the Hobbit and Night at the Museum franchises as well as Annie.

Prior to this, the steepest drop for a Ridley Scott film had been the 59.4% by which Prometheus dropped in June 2012. The second-weekend gross for Exodus is also smaller than the $9.6 million that Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott’s previous epic box-office disappointment, earned during its second weekend in May 2005.

The box-office boost provided by the Christmas season could lift Exodus beyond the $59.7 million that Son of God earned earlier this year. But it seems doubtful that Exodus will come anywhere close to approaching the earnings of Noah or The Prince of Egypt, both of which grossed just over $100 million in North America.

Here is where Exodus currently ranks among the Bible films of the past 35 years:

  • 2004 — $370.8 million — The Passion of the Christ
  • 1998 — $101.4 million — The Prince of Egypt
  • 2014 — $101.2 million — Noah
  • 2014 — $59.7 million — Son of God
  • 2009 — $43.3 million — Year One
  • 2014 — $39.8 million — Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • 2006 — $37.6 million — The Nativity Story
  • 1981 — $31.7 million — History of the World, Part I
  • 2002 — $25.6 million — Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
  • 1979 — $20.0 million — Monty Python’s Life of Brian
  • 1980 — $14.2 million — Wholly Moses!
  • 2006 — $13.4 million — One Night with the King
  • 1988 — $8.4 million — The Last Temptation of Christ
  • 1985 — $5.1 million — King David
  • 2003 — $4.1 million — The Gospel of John

The real question now is how well Exodus will do overseas. Only three Bible films have made much of a dent at the foreign box office in the past few decades: Noah is tops with $261.4 million, The Passion of the Christ comes a close second with $241.1 million, and The Prince of Egypt places third with $117.2 million. Exodus has already earned $61.2 million overseas and has not yet opened in many countries, so it seems a safe bet that it will do better than The Prince of Egypt, at least. But beyond that…?

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