Darren Aronofsky’s diluvian epic Noah attracted something between a trickle and a flood of moviegoers on Friday, earning the film $15.2 million in its first day of release. While Noah is an adaptation of the original disaster story, in which God plays Roland Emmerich and destroys pretty much everything in sight, the number puts Noah’s draw closer to that of historical epics like star Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood than any of Emmerich’s big-budget catastrophe porn. It’s unclear whether the film managed to get Christian audiences (who made last week’s God’s Not Dead a sleeper hit) marching two-by-two into the cinemaplex or if news that Aronofsky was playing fast and loose with Old Testament mythology had kept them at bay.
Meanwhile, Divergent made $8.1 million on its second Friday, dropping a modest 64 percent. The hopeful YA franchise may not diverge too much in tone from its allegorical dystopian forebear The Hunger Games, but the numbers do: At this point, Divergent has made $76.9 million, whereas the first film adapted from Suzanne Collins’ trilogy had already taken in $208.6 million over nearly the exact same calendar days. Of course, $76.9 million in a week and a day is no small potatoes. It’s just not freakishly large genetically modified potatoes, either.
Muppets Most Wanted slipped only 44 percent and into third place with $2.6 million, bringing its total to $24.5 million. In fourth, The Grand Budapest Hotel welcomed some new guests when it expanded to 977 theaters – more than three times its previous week in release – and ended up with nearly $2.4 million on Friday. That’s $18 million all together in the Hotel’s ledgers, so it still has a bit to go before reaching the $45.5 million earned by Wes Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Fifth place belongs to the aforementioned God’s Not Dead, which expanded as its audience contracted, moving onto hundreds of new screens but dropping 16 percent to $2.35 million. The faith-based film has earned $15.3 million since its initial release, a surprisingly high number that likely has the filmmakers doling out kudos to the Big Man Upstairs. Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s undercover drug thriller Sabotage must have gone too undercover, because no one went to see it: With only $1.8 million taken its first day of release, it’s unlikely the film will even make it into the Top 5 this weekend.
Here’s how the box office currently stacks up:
1. Noah - $15.2 million
2. Divergent – $8.1 million
3. Muppets Most Wanted – $2.6 million
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel – $2.4 million
5. God’s Not Dead - $2.35 million