Box Office: ‘Exodus’ Toppling ‘Mockingjay’ with $25 Million

exodus gods and kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings” is ruler of the box office despite its less-than-inspirational ticket sales.

Ridley Scott’s biblical epic launched to $8.6 million on Friday at the U.S. box office as it marches toward an estimated $25 million weekend debut. The Fox action-drama, starring Christian Bale as Moses, has taken over the No. 1 spot from reigning champ “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1.”

The movie is far behind the film that topped the box office this time last year; “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opened to $73.6 million in 2013. The final film of the trilogy, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” hits U.S. theaters next Friday.

It also trails fellow biblical epic “Noah,” which kicked off with $43.7 million earlier this year.

Like “Noah,” “Exodus” has been shrouded in controversy. The pic has been attacked by critics and fans for its all-white cast. 21st Century Fox CEO and media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently defended the Anglo-led cast, tweeting: “Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.”

“Exodus,” which also stars Joel Edgerton as Ramses, carries a hefty $140 million production budget.

The film picked up $23.1 million when it debuted last weekend in 10 foreign markets, including South Korea and Mexico. It had surpassed $32 million by Wednesday, when it moved into another 38 territories.

Early reviews have been mixed, earning it 28% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, another new release, “Top Five,” has received rave reviews (89% on Rotten Tomatoes). Paramount’s comedy debuted to $2.5 million and will laugh its way to $7 million this weekend.

“Top Five” came in third on Friday, but will land in fourth place — behind “Penguins of Madagascar” — by Sunday.

The pic stars Chris Rock as a comedian trying to reinvent himself (in both his personal and professional life). Rock also wrote and directed the pic, which has been dubbed a career comeback.

“Mockingjay” came in a distant second behind “Exodus” with $3.8 million on Friday after wearing the box office crown for three consecutive weekends. The penultimate installment of the Lionsgate franchise should take in $12.5 million in its fourth weekend, raising its cume to $276 million — about $55 million shy of the year’s highest-grossing film, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Fox’s “Madagascar” spinoff “Penguins of Madagascar” was fourth on Friday, taking in $1.6 million. It’ll move to third place come Sunday as it brings in just over $7 million in its third frame.

The space epic “Interstellar” rounded out the Friday top five, but the animated hit “Big Hero” will swoop in for that slot later this weekend. The Disney toon reeled in $1.4 million on Friday on its way north of $6 million as it crosses $185 million at the U.S. box office.

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  1. Julienne says:

    The Bible was written to explain and archive the facts and History of our humanity and our creation in tact. Everything else, including films, is slanted towards one’s views and disbelief of the original scripture and stories. Especially in this day and age. Such as the Koran, plagiarised hundreds of years later by a common thief named Mohammed…the skewed and twisted stories are ripped directly from the Bible. Only the names and dates were changed to create the illegitimate book.

  2. PETER says:

    Anybody religious should be happy that EXODUS was made at all and be thankful to Ridley Scott, cast, and everybody involved in this film’s creation. It is a very well made film, a good retelling of the Moses/Old Testament fable/myth, make-believe, with an excellent, as usual, Christian Bale performance. Moses and Old Testament tales are no place near reality nor historically correct. So why all the whining? Wake up and face reality, folks. And also wait for Ridley’s final, final director’s cut on DVD!

  3. mothy67 says:

    No mention of the fact that the God of Moses is also the God of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity and that a malevolent looking child was cast in the role. Insult a faith and the assume because it has a biblical name you can capture the audience.

  4. Givemeabreak says:

    Mixed reviews at 27%? The TWILIGHT movies got better reviews. EXODUS is a complete flop. Ridley Scott did not need this after the stink that was THE COUNSELOR. Fox is going to lose a boatload of money on this as they should. Television ads are not cheap and EXODUS had plenty of them. Since when is Joel Edgerton a star? They could have cast non whites but chose not to.. I’m glad it’s losing at the box office. Let this be another lesson for Hollywood. I doubt NOAH made a profit either. But hey, all is not lost. EXODUS may get the recognition it deserves at next year’s Razzie awards.

  5. Jason says:

    Ohh ok so we can’t have an all white cast but Chris Rock can have a huge majority black cast. Or the Medea franchise ( use that term loosely ). Please the media and it’s black puppets sharpton and others are destroying this country with their rhetoric and racist unfounded beliefs. Sick of the nonsense

    • Saul Goodman says:

      Your white angst is showing. Chris Rock’s movie and the Madea franchise focus on the Black life, family and career. So yeah, there are a lot of Black actors in it. Duh. Bet you didn’t go to see the movies anyway. Don’t be mad because America doesn’t care for an over produced movie full of historical inaccuracies. It’s not black vs. white anymore, it’s common-sensical people vs. racists.

  6. PETER says:

    Harry, you are right; the full KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is superior, but don’t forget, KOH tries for historic truth, while EXODUS is Old Testament myth/propaganda, a ridiculous story. Chris Bale is excellent as Moses, and EXODUS isn’t a bad depiction of the story of Moses. Most critics are stupid anyway. They are praising the gay IMITATION GAME that is overblown, cheesy melodrama. No better than EXODUS, but, unlike IMITATION GAME, EXODUS doesn’t present itself as true history.

    • analogy_queen says:

      I’m pretty sure that the objections aren’t about movies casting all roles within one race. I think that people question the casting choices based on the geography of characters. Same outrage from people for The Last Airbender and Prince of Persia. In other words, your analogy is invalid.

    • harry georgatos says:

      Your right when you say Exodus requires great suspension of disbelief and is pure sword and sandal popcorn entertainment but the film needed a brutal and violent backbone that was there in Gladiator and especially Mel Gibson’s Passion for that young adult market. Expect a directors cut of Exodus.

  7. harry georgatos says:

    20th Century Fox will have to depend on international box office for a slight box office profit. It’s domestic take of estimated $25 mill is just not good enough compared to Noah $43 mill. Exodus as a movie is just not that good regardless of it’s excellent production values. This needed the ultra-violence of,Passion Of The Christ for a more younger adult market that is extremely blood thirsty. The directors cut of Kingdom Of Heaven is a far better film. Scott’s Exodus is biblical eye candy that should have been blood thirsty to the extreme!

  8. Carol Barnett says:

    ABSOLUTELY, AWESOME!…………..Loved it!!!

  9. John says:

    Early reviews mixed? Exodus has a 28% on RT which is OVERWHELMINGLY NEGATIVE. Sorry Variety, but you can’t be biased with your films. If people are going to refer to Interstellar as “mixed” with a 73% RT score then no way in hell is a 28% movie getting the same treatment. Call it what it is, a turd.

  10. Mixed reviews??? A movie with 29% in Rotten Tomatoes is having mixed reviews?? That is a rotten movie. Mixed reviews would be like a 50% or 60%

  11. Ridley Scott is a brilliant filmmaker with decades of deep rich thoughtfully crafted work. Glad to see his films continue with Exodus.

  12. PETER says:

    Bale is wonderful in EXODUS, as usual. But, otherwise, the movie is a disappointment. Instead, watch the long, director’s cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, a much more original, truthful, enjoyable Ridley Scott film. EXODUS is just another rehash of the Moses myth, same as the Charlton Heston movie, and muscular, arrogant Yul Bryner looked more like a real Pharaoh! What Ridley gives us this time is dirtier, Jew slaves, and huge, bigger set pieces and special effects. Well, the royal palace is wonderful and impressive, anyway!

  13. Sherlock Holmes says:

    How sad! Once Moses could topple the Mighty Pharoah. Now he has to be contended with toppling a young adult chickflick!!!

    • Glenn C. says:

      But he did! Just now.

      • jhs39 says:

        But not by very impressive numbers for a big budget epic. Exodus will probably be lucky if box office only drops by 70% next weekend–the final Hobbit movie will annihilate it at the box office. The studio should have released Exodus last Friday so it would have had two weekends before Peter Jackson’s movie. Ender’s Game made the same stupid mistake last year–it came out the weekend before Thor 2 ensuring a huge box office drop.

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