Poor initial reviews and questionable Biblical content haven't stopped Noah from earning $15.2 million on opening night with $44 million total earnings for the weekend in the U.S. and $95 million worldwide.
The blockbuster film based loosely on the Genesis story of Noah and the Ark hit the number one slot on its opening weekend. Originally, the movie was marketed as a big-budget story of Noah, which director Darren Aronofsky said was "one of the oldest stories ever told." But despite this early buzz, Paramount opted to later re-market the film to let Christians know that it's not a direct re-telling of the popular Bible story.
When media personality Glen Beck got a chance to review the movie before its release, he called it comical and a $100 million disaster. "I would love to come and report that the movie was great, but I can't," Beck said. "It's awful."
Apparently, the biggest issues that many Christian movie-goers have with the film include actor Russell Crowe's portrayal of Noah as a misanthropic "homicidal maniac," and the inclusion of human-like rock formations that rise up to join a battle. But Russell Crowe met the criticism with an explanation of his own. "We have endured 12 to 14 months of irrational criticism and now people are starting to see it and to realize how respectful it is, and how true to the source material it is and how intense of an experience it is in the movie theater, you know, so that's cool," he said.
According to box office stats, Noah was shown at 3,936 theaters with an even demographic split between male and female viewers. Seventy-four percent of those in attendance were over the age of 25. Other critics have called the film everything from "goofy" to "completely bonkers," but it has so far earned a 75% score on rottentomatoes.com.
Original estimates pegged the film to make $30-$35 million on its debut weekend, so its cumulative $95 million earnings (including $51 million overseas) certainly shows the movie performing better than expected.
Another Christian underdog film, God's Not Dead, held strong in its second week with a fifth-place $9 million earning. Both films are currently still in theaters.