Weekend Box Office: Audiences Get Out for ‘Exodus’

Despite featuring a new blockbuster, this was yet another disappointing weekend at the box office, and points to to a grim outlook for the final month of the year.

As expected, Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings‘ took the top spot, but with a less-than-impressive debut. The Biblical epic only earned $24.5 million from more than 3,500 locations. To give that some perspective, Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’ opened to $43.7 million back in March – and that was without the help of 3D ticket prices. The strongest aspect of this opening was that 44% of moviegoers chose to see it in 3D. Only playing in few markets so far, the film’s international numbers are looking very good.

In its fourth weekend, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1‘ was finally knocked down into second place. With a 40% drop in attendance, it added another $13.2 million to its domestic run, which now sits at $277.3 million. If it can keep up this strength over the holidays, it’s possible that ‘Mockingjay’ can out-gross ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to become the highest grossing movie of 2014. Although it has yet to debut in a few major markets, the movie has made $334 million overseas and now sits with a collective $611.3 million.

In its third weekend, ‘Penguins of Madagascar‘ eased a soft 33% with another $7.3 million haul. However, that equates to a pathetic $1,991 per-screen average.

Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five‘ had a nice fourth place debut from 979 locations. Its $7.2 million gross and $7,365 per-screen average has pushed Paramount to expand the film in the coming weekends, although there’s been no word as to how many screens it will hit and when.

Rounding out the actual Top 5 was Disney’s six-week-old ‘Big Hero 6‘. If you thought the 33% drop for ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ was slight, then you’ll be amazed that ‘Big Hero’ only fell 23%. At this rate, it ought to out-gross ‘Penguins’ in no time. Its $6.1 million weekend pushed its domestic run up to $185.3 million.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice‘ debuted to $330,000 from just five screens, making its $66,000 per-screen average one of the very best limited openings of 2014. While it’s quite an achievement to have only three 2014 films debut stronger, ‘Inherent Vice’ opened a lot lower than Anderson’s films typically do.

Weekend numbers have yet to be released for ‘Free the Nipple’.

Top 10:

1. ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ (Fox) – $24,500,000

2. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’ (Lionsgate) – $13,200,000

3. ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ (Fox) – $7,300,000

4. ‘Top Five’ (Paramount) – $7,210,000

5. ‘Big Hero 6’ (Buena Vista) – $6,145,000

6. ‘Interstellar’ (Paramount) – $5,500,000

7. ‘Horrible Bosses 2’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,630,000

8. ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ (Universal) – $2,757,000

9. ‘The Theory of Everything’ (Focus) – $2,525,000

10. ‘Wild’ (Fox Searchlight) – $1,550,000

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