erik lundegaard

Hollywood B.O.: 'Noah,' Not Considered a Christian Movie by Box Office Mojo or Christian Groups, Grosses $44 Million

Russell Crowe in NOAH

Over the weekend, Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, grossed $44 million in the U.S. How does that rank among Christian movies? It took a little work to figure out because Box Office Mojo doesn’t consider “Noah” a Christian movie. This is its definition of a Christian movie:

Movies produced by Christians that promote or embody their religions.

So a story based upon Chapters 6-9 of Genesis is not considered Christian because it was produced by ... Ari Handel? Paramount Pictures? Hollywood? Because it wasn’t Christian conservative?

If we were to consider it a Christian movie, (and why the fuck not?), “Noah” would’ve had the fourth-best opening ever in that category: after “Passion of the Christ” ($83m), and the first two “Narnia” movies ($65m, $55m).

(Sidenote: Where does “Noah” rank among movies starring Russell Crowe? If you don’t count “Man of Steel”—and I don’t—it’s ... No. 1.)

A reason to consider “Noah” a Christian movie besides the Book of Genesis is the fact that the Breitbart site doesn’t. They whine in their usual fashion. OK, writer Sam Sorbo whines. She also promotes her husband Kevin Sorbo’s movie, “God’s Not Dead,” without disclaimer. Classy. Admittedly, hubby’s film did well, $9.5m in its second weekend, dropping only 1.5%, but journalistic rules are journalistic rules. Even for Mrs. Hercules. Or maybe she thinks we all know.

In a way, “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead” demonstrate the Catch 22 that Hollywood has if it wants to, as Sorbo writes, “cash in” on “how the American public is clamoring for faith-based films.” It’s this: Hollywood needs to promote religious movies as if they’re “the religious movies Hollywood doesn’t want you to see.” The movie needs to be part of the culture wars. Christians need to feel like they’re not only showing love for their religion but spiting Hollywood. Which is stronger: love or spite? I’d go for the spite. So: a Catch 22.

Elsewhere, “Divergent,” no “Hunger Games,” fell off 51% in its second weekend and is currently at $95 million. “Muppets” fell off 33% but has grossed only $33 million in a week and a half. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” a smart animated movie written by my friend Craig (see, Mrs. Sorbo?), fell off only 19.7% for another $9.5 million. It should pass $100 million next weekend.

The sound you didn’t hear this weekend? Anyone going to see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Sabotage,” which got a 22% on RT and grossed just $5.3 million. Adjusted, that’s his worst opening evah. Question: Is it a tumor? Maybe Arnold knows.

Another sound you didn’t hear this weekend? “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” It grossed a noisy $75.2 million but that was abroad. America gets sloppy seconds on “Captain America” next weekend.

More numbers flooding in here.

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Posted at 04:01 PM on Sun. Mar 30, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office  
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