Box Office: ‘Exodus’ parts the sea for no.1 on Friday

Ridley Scott's “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has not fared well with critics, but the spectacle plus the star power of Christian Bale resulted in a solid opening day.  The reported $140 million epic pulled in $8.6 million for what could be a $24-25 million weekend.  The movie will likely have to turn a profit overseas as it earned only a B- Cinemascore rating from polled moviegoers (quite bad actually) and will face the onslaught of the last “Hobbit” movie beginning on Wednesday.

Dropping to no. 2 for the first time since November was “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1.” The Lionsgate blockbuster earned another $3.7 million for $267.9 million domestically. Globally the second to last installment of the series has grossed $570.7 million.  Overall, its substantially lower than “Catching Fire's” returns last year.

Chris Rock's critically acclaimed comedy “Top Five” debuted at no. 3 in just 979 theaters with $2.5 million.  It should earn a little over $7 million over the three-day.  Paramount Pictures plans on adding more theaters in the weeks ahead as word of mouth on the comedy spreads.  Rock questioned the strategy to go semi-wide in a number of publications, but whether it was a smart or dumb move on the studio's part remains to be seen.

In fourth place, Dreamworks Animations' “Penguins of Madagascar” took in $1.5 million for $53.1 million so far. The “Madagascar” spin-off has already earned double that overseas.

“Interstellar” remained in the top five with another $1.4 million and $162.7 million in the U.S. Christopher Nolan's space-faring epic has now grossed $597.1 million globally.

Opening on just five screens, Paul Thomas Anderson's “Inherent Vice” earned $128,000 or $25,600 per screen. That should equate to a $70,000 per screen average by the end of the weekend and would be a similar debut to Anderson's 2002 romantic dramedy “Punch-Drunk Love.”  

Look for a complete rundown on this weekend's box office tomorrow on HitFix.