It’s been a good weekend so far for faith-based films at both the domestic and international box offices.
A week before its U.S. debut, Paramount’s “Noah” has opened to $1.4 million in Mexico on Friday. The promising figure matches “Gravity’s” opening in that market. It’s also 50% ahead of “Skyfall” and three times more than “Life of Pi” and “Inception.”
Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical tale has some edge in Mexico (currently playing in 635 locations) after holding its world premiere there. Mexico is largely Catholic, a key demographic for the drama, which targets faith-based communities as a religious movie and wider audiences as a Russell Crowe blockbuster.
The film had a similar showing in Korea on Thursday. It grossed $1.1 million — the highest opening day in the market this year — yesterday and an additional $1.4 million on Friday (up nearly 20%). With a two-day cume of $2.6 million, the film is again on par with “Gravity” and ahead of the aforementioned three pics.
“Noah” will be released day-and-date in the U.S. and 20 more markets on March 28. It will bow in other key territories like the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France in early April.
Paramount-New Regency’s $130 million biblical epic, which also stars Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and “Harry Potter’s” Emma Watson, is on track for a $35 million-plus Stateside opening this coming Friday. The drama could gross upward of $40 million, though Paramount is said to be estimating a lower $27.5 million.
The movie has been banned in several Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, on religious grounds. Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait are expected to follow suit.
Another faith-based pic, Freestyle Releasing’s “God’s Not Dead” opened to a surprise third place Stateside on Friday. The low-budget film earned $2.8 million from 780 locations, putting it on track for an $8.5 million weekend. It will most likely earn a spot in this weekend’s top five.