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Whisper Numbers: Noah arrives on a flood of controversy

After months of speculation and debate, Hollywood’s adaptation of the Biblical figure Noah [NOAH] finally opens in theaters. The big-budgeted, disaster film pits the vision of director Daron Aronofsky [DARON] against the beliefs of literal-minded Christians with Paramount seemingly caught in the middle trying to appease as wide an audience as possible. The PG-13 rated epic stars Russell Crowe [RCROW] as the ark builder from the Old Testament who saved his family and a boatload of animals from the wrath of God that flooded the world. While conservative Christian groups recently supported Son of God and God’s Not Dead, they have criticized Noah for its environmental message and not being faithful to the Bible. Noah will need to appeal to regular moviegoers beyond the faith-based crowd. Loading up at 3567 locations, Noah could float away with $38 million.

Divergent [DVRGN] managed to meet expectations, but did not breakout into blockbuster territory. Front-loaded by its young fanbase, Divergent may tumble 50% or more in its sophomore weekend to $27 million.

Muppets Most Wanted [MUPE2] was not needed by moviegoers. The sequel is likely to decline 45% from its opening weekend to $9.5 million.

The Grand Budapest Hotel [GBHTL] continues its wide expansion to 977 theaters. With excellent reviews, the Wes Anderson film should book another $9 million.

Arnold Schwarzengger [ASCHW] teams up with director David Ayer [DAYER] for the R-rated actioner Sabotage [SBOTG]. Open Road hopes to attract older males that are into gunplay, though reviews have mostly been negative. Breaching 2486 theaters, Sabotage may shoot up $8.5 million.

After a couple of lackluster weeks of limited release, Bad Words [BDWRD] expands wide into 842 locations. Jason Bateman [JBATE] stars in the R-rated comedy and made his directorial debut. Despite good reviews, the film will be overshadowed by The Grand Budapest Hotel. Bad Words may be lucky to work up $5 million.

The biopic Cesar Chavez [CHAVZ] stars Michael Pena [MPENA] stars as the Latino labor rights leader. Lionsgate and Pantelion are targeting Hispanic moviegoers and the PG-13 rated film will test whether they turn out for a drama as they do for horror and comedy. Marching into 664 theaters, Cesar Chavez could walk home with $5 million.

That’s the whisper from the virtual trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 02:45 PM 3082 views

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