The Christmas movie season finally kicks off this weekend with the release of “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” Ridley Scott’s big-budget retelling of the story of Exodus should easily take first place away from three-time defending champion “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”
Playing at 3,503 theaters this weekend, “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is the latest film from Academy Award winning director Ridley Scott. Although the story of Moses has been told countless times, Scott’s version made headlines (and continues to do so) by casting Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses.
A lot of people complained, which could be why 20th Century Fox marketing has focused on the movie’s action, and not so much on who is starring in the film. And maybe its just me, but I think most of the tv ads for Exodus aired during NFL games, and other male driven shows.
“Exodus: Gods and Kings” has already earned $32.6 million from a handful of territories, including South Korea and Mexico. While at home Fox is expecting an opening somewhere in the mid-$20-millions this weekend.
That sounds about right, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Exodus made to at least $30 million. Keep in mind 2014 has been a good year for faith-based movies: “Heaven is for Real,” “God’s Not Dead” and “Son of God” were all over-performed at the domestic box office. And Darren Aronofsky’s big budget “Noah” opened to an impressive $43.7 million in March.
The bad news for “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is the film’s poor reviews (30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and a mountain of tough competition in the next two weeks. Exodus could have trouble getting anywhere near $100 million domestically.
Then there’s Chris Rock’s “Top Five.” After premiering to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, the Chris Rock comedy had plenty of distributors to choose from. Ultimately, Paramount Pictures wound up getting the film for only $12 million.
Three months later Paramount is releasing “Top Five” in 979 theaters. This movie has a couple of things working in its favor, including some excellent reviews (93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Rosario Dawson, and Gabrielle Union.
But with a low theatre count opening weekend, and a ton of new movies about to drop, “Top Five” may get lots in the shuffle. Still, the movie could make a run at third place this weekend with about $10 million.