“Noah” was blessed at the box office on Friday.
Darren Aronofsky's controversial Old Testament epic opened to a solid $15.2 million, and is expected to earn around $42 million in its first weekend.
Paramount's attempts to woo faith-based moviegoers to the divisive film appears to have worked, and “Noah” is likewise prospering overseas.
“Noah” stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson.
Falling to second place was the YA adaptation “Divergent,” starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet. It took in another $8.1 million, bringing its North American total to a strong $76.8 million.
In third place was the struggling holdover “Muppets Most Wanted,” which earned $2.6 million on Friday. So far, the Muppets have taken in a disappointing $24.4 million.
After expanding to nearly 1,000 screens, Wes Anderson's all-star “Grand Budapest Hotel” checked in at No. 4 on Friday, earning $2.3 million. Its domestic take stands at $18 million.
“God's Not Dead,” another Bible-inspired drama earned $2.3 million. The low-budget film has so far earned an impressive $15.3 million.
This weekend's other wide opener, the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film “Sabotage,” is a complete dud, having earned just $1.8 million on Friday.
It will struggle to earn more than $5 million for the weekend, making it one of the Hollywood superstar's worst opening weekends ever.
Look for continuing box office updates throughout the weekend on HitFix.