The much-talked about biblical epic Noah scored a stellar $44 million opening this weekend despite the huge amount of controversy that has surrounded it prior to its release.
Paramount’s big budget film grossed more than $95 million worldwide on opening day, courtesy of an early launch in countries like Mexico and South Korea. In Russia, the film grossed $17 million, which is the highest ever opening for a non-sequel. Noah is number four on the list of top openings of all time.
The film, which was directed by Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan fame, features a darker take on the Old Testament tale. During filming, Noah sparked a lot of buzz among Christian groups in the United States, and even got banned from several Muslim countries. As a result, Paramount Pictures added a disclaimer at the beginning of its film stating that “artistic license was taken” in interpreting the biblical tale of Noah.
Noah’s surprisingly impressive showing surpassed another strong box office contender, the science fiction action Divergent. The film, which stars Theo James and Shailene Woodley, was the second top grosser this weekend with approximately $27 million in ticket sales.
Paramount Pictures president of domestic marketing Megan Cooligan stated that the results were “fantastic” and that the film “surprises people and makes them want to talk about it”. Paramount vice chair Rob Moore added that Noah’s “increased attention” in the U.S. and around the world definitely worked to the film’s advantage as it piqued people’s interest – whether positively or negatively.
The film drew a diverse audience, which included African-Americans, Catholic Latinos, Christians, and fans of the acclaimed The Wrestler director. Cooligan also noted that although there was a nice balance of age ranges in the crowd, more than half of the number of ticket buyers belong to the over-25 age group.
If you don't believe in the bible, cool. BUT if you're going to make a movie called NOAH, don't have me thinking I'm going to go see NOAH!
— Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) March 31, 2014
Just saw the movie Noah. Would've had a better time sticking my face in a wood chipper. I may demand a refund.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) March 31, 2014
NOAH: Yeah, it has problems. But wow, what an experience. What a movie. Bravo.
— Ray Subers (@raysubers) March 31, 2014
Is 'Noah' Movie Bogus?
Image via Noah Movie, Twitter