‘EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS’ MAKES WAVES IN THE #1 SPOT AT THE WEEKEND BOX OFFICE!

Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings , starring Christian Bale, took the top box office spot over the weekend with $24.1 million, forcing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 into second place with $12.7 million after the blockbuster franchise enjoyed three weeks in the number one spot.

With a budget of an estimated $140 million, these could not have been the opening weekend numbers Scott or 21st Century Fox wanted. They will likely be looking to the international market to make up for a meek start. On the other hand, the unremarkable performance of Exodus: Gods and Kings in it’s first week it can be argued, was to be expected, considering the lack luster reviews and the controversy surrounding the film.

JOEL EDGERTON (RHAMSES) AND CHRISTIAN BALE (MOSES) IN 'EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS' (20TH CENTURY FOX)

Starring Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, the issue of the lack of ethnic diversity in the top roles in Exodus: Gods and Kings created some backlash with some threatening to boycott the movie in order to take a stand. The largely white main cast, seemingly unreflective of Egypt at the time the film is set, was at issue. Scott was defiant in the face of criticism, seeming to write off the charges as he explained that raising the kind of financing needed for a film of this scale, would require high profile, bankable A-List actors to guarantee ticket sales.

While the core point Scott was making might be true, though a hard pill to swallow, it was the way he expressed those feelings that angered some, as he said the financing would not have materialized if he cast “Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such”. Not helpful, was Fox chief Rupert Murdoch’s later tweet stating, “Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.” It remains to be seen how the final numbers will ultimately shake out.

Lionsgate dystopian juggernaut The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen had to settle for second place in its fourth week of release grossing $12.7 million. That brings the film’s total haul to a staggering $277 million, well surpassing its $125 million budget.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (LIONSGATE)

The animated Penguins of Madagascar came in third place over the weekend with $7.2 million.

Debuting in fourth place was Chris Rock’s Top Five, which the funnyman wrote, directed, and stars in, opposite Gabrielle Union and Rosario Dawson. The Paramount Pictures film took in $6.9 million.

TOP FIVE (PARAMOUNT PICTURES)

Disney’s Big Hero 6 took in $6.1 million for fifth place, bringing its six-week total take to $185 million. The animated feature just beat out Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar which came in sixth with $5.5 million over the weekend.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE TOP 10

1. EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS $24.1 MILLION

2. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART – 1 $12.7 MILLION

3. PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR $7.2 MILLION

4. TOP FIVE $6.9 MILLION

5. BIG HERO 6 $6.1 MILLION

6. INTERSTELLAR $5.5 MILLION

7. HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 $4.6 MILLION

8. DUMB AND DUMBER TO $2.8 MILLION

9. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING $2.5 MILLION

10. WILD $1.5 MILLION

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