There were a few surprises at the box office this weekend, as an aging action star struggled for relevance while a controversial film made the biggest splash.
The biblical epic Noah (read our review) is the number 1 film this weekend with $44 million. While some questioned whether Noah would be able to shake the controversy surrounding its adaptation, the film was able to do more than that.
Noah is now director Darren Aronofsky's biggest opening and a big hit for Paramount. Not to mention, the film has grossed $95 million worldwide.
Coming in at a distant number 2 is Divergent with $26.5 million. Although the YA adaptation held a lot better than most films of its ilk do, Divergent is by no means on the same level as The Hunger Games or Twilight…yet. With $95 million earned after only two weeks, Divergent has already cemented its place as the next big YA franchise, and its sequel Insurgent could pull big numbers in 2015.
Muppets Most Wanted comes in at number 3 with $11.3 million, which brings its domestic total up to $33 million. While this second Muppets movie (of this latest run) is well behind its predecessor in terms of overall gross, it is actually tracking slightly ahead in terms of second weekend numbers. Still, it seems unlikely that Disney will want to move forward on a third film based solely on box office receipts.
In at number 4 is Mr. Peabody & Sherman with $9.5 million. The animated film has pulled in $94 million in domestic theaters and $218 million worldwide.
Rounding out the top 5 is God's Not Dead with $9 million. The religious-themed film held extremely well this weekend and only dropped 1% from last week, an especially impressive feat considering the film added about 300 screens to its count. Thus far, God's Not Dead has grossed $22 million.
The number 6 film this weekend is The Grand Budapest Hotel with $8.8 million. Yet again this latest film from acclaimed indie director Wes Anderson has posted a strong per-screen average ($9,033/screen) and crept further up the top 10. All told, the film has accrued $24 million on less than 1,000 screens.
Coming in at number 7 is Sabotage (read our review) with $5.3 million. While the performances of recent Schwarzenegger films like Escape Plan ($9.9 million) and The Last Stand ($6 million) suggested that audiences were no longer interested in the aging action star, Sabotage's abysmal opening all but confirms it.
It seems it doesn't matter if the film is rated R, rated PG-13, features fellow big name actors, or even high profile directors – Schwarzenegger's name simply no longer resonates with moviegoers like it once did.
Need for Speed is the number 8 movie this weekend with $4.33 million, which brings its domestic total up to $37 million. Though the domestic grosses are likely not what the studios were hoping for when they first announced the project, Need for Speed has done decent business overseas, perhaps enough to justify a second go 'round. The film has made $168 million worldwide.
In at number 9 is 300: Rise of an Empire with $4.3 million. The big budget sequel has now eclipsed the $100 million mark with $101M after 4 weeks. While that's a far cry from the original 300's $210 million, Rise of an Empire's worldwide total of $314 million is extremely impressive.
Rounding out the top 10 is Non-Stop with $4 million. The Liam Neeson thriller has done quite well for itself, amassing $85 million over the past 5 weeks and has more than proven that Liam Neeson is still a big draw when starring in films not titled Taken.
Outside the top 10: Jason Bateman's directorial debut Bad Words (read our review) pulled in $2.6 million across 842 screens. While the numbers for Bad Words are not terrible, they are not stellar either. We'll see whether this impacts Bateman's chances of directing another film.
Frozen passed Toy Story 3 as the highest grossing animated film of all time this weekend with a total of $1.07 billion and counting.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened at number 1 in all but two of its 32 international markets with $75 million over the weekend. If The Winter Soldier's international numbers are any indication, then it looks like Captain America 2 might be in for a big payday when it hits North American theaters next weekend.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, March 31st - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo