Weekend Box Office: ‘Exodus’ Takes the Lead, But Falls Short of Other Biblical Films

By December 15, 2014

This weekend’s box office could likely be described as “tepid” considering the offerings that were available, but that didn’t stop Ridley Scott’s newest offering, the Bible-based Exodus: Gods and Kings, from taking a commanding lead. According to a box office breakdown conducted by VarietyExodus took in approximately $24.5 million this weekend, which is $500,000 short of what its expected tally was back on Friday. Still, that placed it firmly at the top of the box office mountain this weekend, but its unlikely to hold a second week at the top due to the imminent release of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.

Still, while Exodus performed reasonably within industry expectations, it still comes with quite a few caveats. With a budget of around $140 million, $24.5 million leaves a lot of room to catch up in order to become profitable. As Variety correctly points out, it will likely need a relatively strong showing in overseas markets in order to ultimately turn a profit. On top of that, the film will have to establish a relatively reliable audience within the United States for the remainder of its theatrical run, which shouldn’t prove too difficult given the film’s subject matter. According to BoxOfficeMojo, the foreign outlook for Exodus is looking very good, with the estimated weekend total sitting at $49.8 million, which is 67% of its total worldwide gross thus far. That being said, though, it does have to fight against the current of a mixed critical reception, with its current score on Rotten Tomatoes sitting at a pretty dismal 28%. GeekNation’s review wasn’t exactly positive either, with Eric D. Snider calling it not interesting enough “to be good.”

Sitting at number two this weekend is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which took in $13.2 million. Penguins of Madagascar managed to grab the number three spot with a gross of $7.3 million, while this weekend’s other newcomer, Chris Rock’s well-reviewed Top Five, broke into fourth place at $7.21 million. Number 5 was Disney and Pixar’s Big Hero 6, taking in about $6.15 million, with the second half of the top 10 being rounded out by InterstellarHorrible Bosses 2Dumb and Dumber To, the Stephen Hawking biography The Theory of Everything, and finally Fox Searchlight’s The Wild.

Certain analysts also point out that, in regards to Exodus, it has performed the weakest when compared to a string of other biblically-based films over the last decade. 2004’s The Passion of the Christ opened at a staggering $83.8 million, while Darren Aronofsky’s Noah took in $43.7 million earlier this year. Still, its foreign performance seems to be strong enough to carry it over its initial investment.

For more on these films as news develops, keep an eye on GeekNation!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.