Box Office: Anti-God 'Noah' Dives, 'God's Not Dead' Soars
In its second weekend, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is in a fight for the top spot with new release "Rio 2." Both sequels are circling $40 million-plus weekends. No surprise there. But proving you can only fool people for so long, in its third weekend, director Darren Aronofsky's creepy attempt to fool the public into believing his anti-God "Noah" was a biblical tale ran aground with a paltry $7.1 million weekend.
As of Monday, Russell Crowe's Gnostic bait-and-switcheroo will sit somewhere around $84 million. That will officially put it behind the pace of Russell Crowe's previous big-budget flop "Robin Hood," which managed to only reach $105 million at the North American box office.
"Noah" is now in real danger of losing money. Between its $125 million production budget and promotional budget likely in the $50 to $75 million range, the anti-God epic needs to gross something close to $400 million worldwide just to break even. Depending on how many countries remain for the film to open in, as of now $400 million is a long ways off.
Going forward, "Noah" is also facing serious headwinds. The Vatican newspaper just blasted the film, a lousy CinemaScore rating of "C" usually means terrible word-of-mouth, and after fooling moviegoers and many in the Christian media through its first weekend, the word is now out that "Noah" is an attack on God, not biblical.
Meanwhile, a truly Christian film, "God's Not Dead," continues to soar at the box office. In its fourth weekend, the story of a student's confrontation with an atheist teacher (played by Kevin Sorbo) grossed $5.3 million, for a total of $40.7 million. With a production and promotional budget that totaled $4 million, "God's Not Dead" has to be closing in on a record as far as return on investment.
Disney's Muppets are done.
After four weeks "Muppets Most Wanted" sits at a lousy $46 million after adding only $2.3 million this weekend. This is the most mismanaged re-launch of a franchise in film history.
For whatever insane reason, Disney thought it could get away with turning the universally beloved and irreverent Muppets into left-wing culture warriors who fight everything from Fox News to the energy industry. After 2011's "Muppets" grossed a disappointing $88 million in North America, Disney then went ahead and cast Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey in the sequel. And now two of the most divisive actors working today have driven "Muppets Most Wanted" the rest of the way into the ground.
With a promotional and production budget that likely adds up to somewhere around $100 million, "Muppets Most Wanted" is on pace to lose over a $100 million.
I don't know anyone who didn’t love the Muppets and who wasn't excited about their return.
Way to blow it, Hollywood.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC