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"Noah" survives controversy and sails to the top of the box office

"Noah" rides out controversy
"Noah" rides out controversy
Paramount Pictures

Never has a “Bible” story been told with more action, special effects, and well, let’s face it, violence. Russell Crowe plays “Noah” with passion and macho appeal and portrays himself as God’s worker on a mission to save the animals from destruction. The story was told in a way that barely resembles the “Bible” stories told in Christian schools or Yeshiva. However, this is a story that Jewish and Christian movie–goers can both relate to. This is one of many reasons why the action film version of “Noah” stormed to the top of a rainy weekend in Staten Island and was number one at the box office on opening weekend. reported today (March 30) that “"Noah" stormed past the cinematic competition to grab the top spot at the box office in its debut weekend.” Studio estimates state that “the biblical blockbuster, starring Russell Crowe, sailed away with $44 million, according to studio estimates. Darren Aronofsky's theological thriller added some Hollywood hitches to the story, like huge rock monsters with glowing eyes,” according to The New York Daily News.

Number two at the box office was "Divergent" which came in second with $26.5 million, added studio estimates, while "Muppets Most Wanted," the hyped follow-up to the 2011 movie, landed in third with $11.4 million. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," the DreamWorks animated film about the time-traveling adventures of a virtuoso dog and the human son he adopted, came in fourth with $9.5 million.The independently released biblical drama "God's Not Dead" continued its religious run at the box office with $9 million, added "The New York Daily News" from wire reports today. For more on the epic flood film “Noah”’s debut of epic proportions, visit

“ABC News” indicates that “Noah” has been immersed in a sea of controversy, perhaps adding to its popular appeal. “The imaginative take on the tale of Noah's Ark from "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky led some religious groups to claim the story had been inaccurately depicted and prompted Paramount to add a disclaimer to marketing materials noting that "artistic license has been taken" in telling the story.”

Adds the report: “The polarizing attention apparently paid off for "Noah," which features such additions to the well-known Bible story as angelic rock creatures and chic wardrobes for Noah and his family.”

"It certainly feels like the film has really connected with both mainstream moviegoers who are looking for a really sophisticated film and those folks who really want to see a movie that honors their faith," said Rob Moore, Paramount vice chairman to the media. "It's been a very interesting journey to get to this point, but it's definitely a spectacular launch, " adds ABC News.

Faith-based films sweep

“"Noah" is the latest faith-centric film to win over audiences this year. Others include the independently released "God's Not Dead," which earned $9 million in its second outing this weekend, and "Son of God," whose domestic total now stands at $57.9 million since opening last month,” added ABC News.

According to the “Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) blog posting today: “Noah” had no trouble cresting to the top spot at the box office this weekend, with the action-epic retelling of the Genesis story grossing a stronger-than-expected $44 million.”

“The performance of “Noah” had been a looming question in the days leading up to the film’s release, as most of the attention around the $125 million production focused on outcry or unease from religious leaders over director Darren Aronofsky’s retelling of the Genesis story,” according to WSJ. “Paramount says it expects “Noah” to hold well at the box office and in the coming weeks attract older viewers, who tend to see movies later,” added WSJ. “ Noah is playing at all three Staten Island theaters. Staten Island viewers came out of the rain this weekend to view this Biblical epic and ride out the storm with "Noah" and his family of animals and people.