Art And Culture

‘Exodus: Gods & Kings’ Tops US Box Office Chart

 ‘Exodus: Gods & Kings’ Tops US Box Office Chart ‘Exodus: Gods & Kings’ Tops US Box Office Chart

Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ toppled ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ from its perch at the box office, but its opening weekend results fell short of ‘heavenly status.’

According to Variety, the biblical epic picked up $24.5 million from 3,503 locations. That was in line with projections, but bringing the story of Moses to life carried a hefty $140 million price tag. The 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment production will need to perform well overseas if it wants to be profitable.

Its opening also fell short of the launches of other religious-themed films such as ‘Noah’ ($43.7 million), ‘Son of God’ ($25.6 million) and ‘The Passion of the Christ’ ($83.8 million).

The movie is about the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) who rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, and sets 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. Scenes of parting the Red Sea and unleashing plagues of frogs are among the eye-catching visual effects used in the film.

The weekend’s other major new entry, ‘Top Five’, picked up $7.2 million across 979 locations, good enough for a fourth place finish. Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in the film about a comedian at a professional and personal crossroads, earning some of the strongest notices of his career.

 Crowd Puller

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ may have ceded its throne, but it still pulled in a crowd, picking up second place on the charts with $13.2 million. The blockbuster sequel has earned $277.4 million after a month in theaters, securing the second rank in the yearly box office chart right after ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ which grossed $332.3 million.

Coming in at third and fifth position were animations ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ and ‘Big Hero 6’, which pulled in $7.3 million and $6.1 million, respectively.

The overall box office was down more than 40% from a year ago when ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ debuted to $73.6 million.

Next week brings a triumvirate of major releases — ‘Annie’, ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’, and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’— and with them, one of the last chances of recapturing box office momentum so 2014 doesn’t end with a whimper.