Noah Movie Darren Aronofsky

Paramount pic polarizes domestic auds, with record-setting bow in Russia

Paramount’s Biblical tentpole “Noah” embarked on what looks to be a successful journey globally this weekend, grossing $77.6 million worldwide, of which an estimated $44 million came from Stateside theaters.

As of Sunday, the film has cumed more than $95 million globally, thanks to an early overseas roll out last weekend in Mexico and South Korea. Pic scored $17.2 million in Russia this weekend, the largest bow for a non-sequel locally.

Also bowing early internationally, Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” grossed a stellar $75.2 million from 32 territories, representing approximately 57% of the overseas market place. By comparison, the original “Captain America” grossed only $40 million from the same bucket of territories in 2011.

“With the strong reactions from audiences as they come in, this certainly looks to rank as one of the top Marvel films,” said Disney worldwide distribution topper Dave Hollis.

“Winter Soldier,” which bows next weekend domestically, earned its top grosses from South Korea and the U.K., which contributed nearly $11 million each.

Meanwhile, Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said the $125 million-budgeted “Noah” benefited from “increased attention,” both domestically and abroad, surrounding the debate over helmer Darren Aronofsky’s loose adaptation of the Biblical story. Imax also goosed domestic grosses, contributing $6.2 million (about $1 million more than what was expected).

“This movie has so much creativity in it and people are tying to wrap their head around whether that’s OK,” Moore told Variety. “Now people actually will have the movie to talk about and less to speculate about.”

Because of the film’s artistic treatment, which includes an environmentally conscious message, reactions were divided among Stateside moviegoers: The film scored an overall ‘C’ rating, though 63% of the audience rated the pic ‘B’ or better vs. only 15%, which gave it a ‘D’ or ‘F’.

“This is a movie that is very compelling that people will talk about,” Moore said.

Overall, the domestic box office was down just a hair from this same weekend last year, when three films each grossed north of $20 million, led by “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” with $40.5 million.

Also bowing wide this weekend, Open Road’s Arnold Schwarzenegger action thriller “Sabotage” stalled with a paltry $5.3 million from 2,486 locations. Pic marks the latest dud for Schwarzenegger, whose other recent mid-sized pics “The Last Stand” and “Escape Plan” also flopped at the box office.

Doing solid business, however, Lionsgate-Pantelion’s aggressive limited release of Latino-targeted biopic “Cesar Chavez” grossed an estimated $3 million at 664 locations.

Among the domestic holdovers, Lionsgate-Summit’s “Divergent” led the charge, estimating $26.5 million, down a respectable 51%, for a Stateside cume surpassing $95 million in two weeks.

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