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Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?)

Weekend B.O. Dec. 12-14 (So How’s That Boycott Working for Ya?)

Though there
wasn’t an official organized movement, for months there has been a groundswell
of calls for a boycott against Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic, “Exodus: Of Gods and
Kings,” over its controversial casting of white actors in roles for people of
color, and the virtual non-existence of black people in the film (no wait…look
at the image above. There’s the brother up there on the left, fighting in the battle.
So at least there’s one) .

So did the boycott
have an effect? Perhaps it did; or perhaps not. Depends on how you look at it.
The film was no. 1 this weekend, but, with an underwhelming $24.5 million, when it was expected to do at least
$40 million, keeping it in line with that other earlier Biblical epic, Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” That film opened with $43.7 million in its first weekend, back
in March.

Yes, it’s true that, over
all, it was a very lackluster weekend in terms of box office numbers,
but the disappointing result for “Exodus” could have been because of an unorganized
but effective boycott by moviegoers. Or maybe, as film critic Erik Childress (WCIU-TV
and WGN radio) pointed out, it could have been because of the mixed to bad
reviews that film got, and also the fact that no one liked “Noah,” which might have
dampened any interest to a see another Biblical epic movie. Or it could have been
a combination of all three.

However, keep in mind that, this
time of year is strange, since many films released around under-performed when they opened, yet continued to do steady business over the following
weeks, into the January, resulting in those films grossing $100 million or more.

So the next
few weeks will determine if “Exodus” has any b.o. legs or if it is out for the
count domestically and has to rely on overseas box office to make some dough, which, as of this weekend, adds up to $32.5 million.

“Exodus” did
also finally knock off “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” from its No. 1 perch, where it’s been for the past three weeks. The film didn’t drop far however, landing
in second place, with $13.2 million, and over $277 million domestically so far, grossing an astonishing $611.4 million worldwide to date.

As for Chris
Rock’s highly touted “Top Five,” the film had an O.K. but not
spectacular opening, making $7.2 million on 979 screens. Why Paramount did not
release the film on more screens is a mystery, but the strong positive buzz
that the film is getting should guarantee it doing solid business, as it opens
in more theaters in the following weeks.

And, by the way, remember that one of the producers of “Top Five,” who arranged for financing
of the film, is none other than mega-producer Scott Rudin. The very same Scott
Rudin who got in hot water last week over his e-mail exchanges with Sony CEO Amy Pascal, on President Obama’s movie preferences. I guess that means Rudin
hopes Obama with screen “Top Five” at the White House? Who knows.

Also the
film had the second highest per screen average after the Reese Witherspoon drama, “Wild,” which is now still in limited release, on only 116 screens, with just over
$13,000 per screen.

Meanwhile “Interstellar,” “Big Hero 6,” “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Gone Girl” continue to hold on steadily.

1) Exodus: Gods and Kings  Fox  $24,500,000 
2) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1  LGF  $13,200,000  Total: $277,398,000 
3) Penguins of Madagascar  Fox  $7,300,000  Total: $58,839,000 
4) Top Five  Par.  $7,210,000 
5) Big Hero 6  BV  $6,145,000  Total: $185,325,000 
6) Interstellar  Par.  $5,500,000  Total: $166,800,000 
7) Horrible Bosses 2  WB  $4,630,000  Total: $43,601,000 
8) Dumb and Dumber To  Uni.  $2,757,000  Total: $82,117,000 
9) The Theory of Everything  Focus  $2,525,000  Total: $17,148,000 
10) Wild   FoxS  $1,550,000  Total: $2,423,000 
11) Birdman  FoxS  $1,325,000  Total:  $20,794,000 
12) Gone Girl  Fox  $1,050,000  Total: $164,427,000

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