Box Office: No plagues for ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ at no. 1

Ridley Scott's “Exodus: Gods and Kings” knocked “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1” from the top of the box office this weekend, but it did it in unspectacular fashion.  The reported $140 million epic pulled in $24.5 million, significantly lower than pre-release polling was predicting just a few weeks ago. 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 $13.2 million for $277.3 million domestically. Globally, the second to last installment of the series has now grossed $611.3 million.  Overall, its substantially lower than “Catching Fire's” returns last year, but still enough to rank as the no. 2 film of the year so far behind “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

In thrd place, Dreamworks Animations' “Penguins of Madagascar” took in another $7.3 million for $58.8 million so far. The “Madagascar” spin-off has already earned double that overseas, but overall its another disappointment for the partnership between DWA and 20th Century Fox.

Chris Rock's critically acclaimed comedy “Top Five” debuted at no. 4 in just 979 theaters with $7.2 million.  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.

“Big Hero 6” rounded out the top five taking in another $6.1 million and $185.3 million in the U.S. to date.

Opening on just five screens, Paul Thomas Anderson's “Inherent Vice” earned $330,000 or $66,000 per screen. That's a similar debut to Anderson's 2002 romantic dramedy “Punch-Drunk Love,” but far from the massive $147,262 per screen Anderson's last film, “The Master,” pulled off in 2012.

New releases this week include “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on Wednesday and both “Annie” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” on Friday.

Final box office actuals are released on Monday.