Box office: Miracles from Heaven opens strong, and both of the season’s Bible movies drop out of the top ten

Box office: Miracles from Heaven opens strong, and both of the season’s Bible movies drop out of the top ten March 20, 2016

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Last week, there were two Bible movies in the top ten at the box office, and this week — as churches geared up for Palm Sunday — there were none. But a third film did give the broader “faith-based” genre its biggest opening in almost two years.

Miracles from Heaven, which tells the story of a girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder, earned an estimated $15 million between Friday and Sunday, for an $18.6 million total since opening on Wednesday. It ranked third for the weekend.

That is the best opening for a “faith-based” film since Heaven Is for Real came out the Wednesday before Easter in April 2014. (Both films were produced by Joe Roth, T.D. Jakes and DeVon Franklin.) And it is the fourth-best opening for a “faith-based” film ever, behind Heaven Is for Real, Son of God and The Passion of the Christ.

Meanwhile, if Risen, which opened four weeks ago, and The Young Messiah, which opened just last week, were hoping to get an Easter-season boost, it failed to materialize, as both films fell out of the top ten altogether this week.

Risen earned an estimated $1.1 million for the weekend, bringing its North American total to $34.4 million. The film opened in several foreign countries this week and has earned another $1 million there, bringing its global total to $35.5 million.

The Young Messiah, meanwhile, dropped 68.2% in its second week — possibly the steepest second-weekend drop of any Bible film in recent memory (previous steepest: Exodus: Gods and Kings, 66.4%) — and earned only $1 million, bringing its North American total to $5.4 million. The film has earned another $230,940 overseas.

Risen ranked #12 for the weekend, while The Young Messiah ranked #13.

Risen and The Young Messiah both cost between $18 million and $20 million to produce. Miracles from Heaven had an estimated price tag of $13 million.

Zootopia continued to rule the box-office charts, with its weekend haul of $38 million bringing its North American total to $201.8 million. The film is now Disney’s sixth-biggest non-Pixar animated hit, behind The Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin — and it is way ahead of where any of those films were in their third weekends. (Frozen had earned $164.8 million by now.)

The biggest new release of the week was The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which earned $29.1 million for the weekend — well below the $52 million-plus that the previous films in the series opened to. The lower opening may be due in part to the fact that the third book was unpopular with a lot of the series’ fans.

In other news, Deadpool barely dropped at all in its sixth week, and earned another $8 million for the weekend, thereby bringing its domestic total to $340.9 million. In North America, it still ranks behind its fellow R-rated films The Passion of the Christ ($370.8 million) and American Sniper ($350.1 million), but not by much.

Deadpool has earned another $389.7 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $730.7 million. Overseas, among R-rated films, it is still behind The Mermaid ($532.7 million), The Matrix Reloaded ($460.6 million), The Intouchables ($416.4 million) and Fifty Shades of Grey ($404.8 million) — only two of which were made in North America. Worldwide, it is second only to The Matrix Reloaded ($742.1 million).

Now for a little more data about the week’s two Bible films:

Risen now ranks ninth among “faith-based” films in terms of total domestic gross…

  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $370.8 million
  • 2014 — Heaven Is for Real — $91.4 million
  • 2015 — War Room — $67.8 million
  • 2014 — God’s Not Dead — $60.8 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $59.7 million
  • 2011 — Soul Surfer — $43.9 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $37.6 million
  • 2011 — Courageous — $34.5 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $34.4 million
  • 2008 — Fireproof — $33.5 million
  • 2014 — When the Game Stands Tall — $30.1 million
  • 2002 — Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie — $25.6 million
  • 2016 — Miracles from Heaven — $18.6 million
  • 2015 — Woodlawn — $14.4 million
  • 2014 — Left Behind — $14 million

…and it ranks eighth among Bible-themed films released in the past 40 years:

  • 2004 — The Passion of the Christ — $370.8 million
  • 1998 — The Prince of Egypt — $101.4 million
  • 2014 — Noah — $101.2 million
  • 2014 — Exodus: Gods and Kings — $65 million
  • 2014 — Son of God — $59.7 million
  • 2009 — Year One — $43.3 million
  • 2006 — The Nativity Story — $37.6 million
  • 2016 — Risen — $34.4 million
  • 1981 — History of the World, Part I — $31.7 million
  • 2016 — Hail, Caesar! — $29.8 million
  • 2002 — Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie — $25.6 million
  • 1979 — Monty Python’s Life of Brian — $20 million
  • 1980 — Wholly Moses! — $14.2 million
  • 2006 — One Night with the King — $13.4 million
  • 1988 — The Last Temptation of Christ — $8.4 million
  • 2016 — The Young Messiah — $5.4 million
  • 1985 — King David — $5.1 million
  • 2003 — The Gospel of John — $4.1 million

Next week is Easter. And the week after that will bring us God’s Not Dead 2.

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