Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings opened this weekend, which had every entertainment journalist warming up their best bible pun for disaster. While it wasn’t the biggest bomb ever, returns weren’t great, with the $140 million budgeted film opening to $25.5 million in the US. “Plague” might be too strong. Let’s go with “Exodus? More like ExoDUD.” Nailed it.
$25 million is pretty bad for a film this size, but luckily for Fox, it opened earlier and is doing decent business internationally, where it has earned $50 million. Noah, by comparison, opened back in March with $43.7 million, on the way to $101 million domestic, which would be very bad for Exodus. Pundits point out that December tends to be “leggier,” meaning movies play longer and are less front-loaded, but Noah was also a much better movie (my opinion aside, Rotten Tomatoes has Noah at 77% recommended, with Exodus at 28%), so who knows.
The debut audience was 54% male and 65% over the age of 25, and the film played particularly well to Hispanic and African-American moviegoers, who made up 18% and 20% of the crowd, respectively.
Is this proof that the casting wasn’t racist? Not really, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it spun that way.
“We got the religious audience, but the opening audience was much more diverse than just that,” said Spencer Klein, executive vice president of theatrical distribution at Fox. [Variety]
Nice. That guy is a lot better at quotes than Rupert “all my Egyptian friends are white” Murdoch or Ridley “Mohammad So-and-So” Scott. In any case, Exodus‘s opening was on par with The Golden Compass (also a December release) and will probably be remembered similarly.
The only other “wide” release was Chris Rock’s Top Five, which earned a solid $7.2 million on 979 screens. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice opened on five screenings, averaging $66,000 per screen, sixth best of the year behind Grand Budapest, The Imitation Game, Birdman, and Boyhood. I’m going to punch someone if I don’t get to see it soon.
2014 is 5% down from 2013 thus far. This weekend brings Annie, The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies, and Night At the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which all seem like perfectly fine movies that I have no plans to see.