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更新时间:2014-3-31 22:23:20 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

'Noah' Rises to Top the Box Office

'Noah' easily rode a wave of pre-release buzz--and some controversy--to the top of the box office this weekend, grossing $44 million in the U.S. and Canada.

The results are a relief for Paramount Pictures, the Viacom Inc.-owned studio that has weathered significant criticism in recent weeks over director Darren Aronofsky's telling of the Genesis ark story. Most of the attention around the $125 million production--Hollywood's first biblical epic in decades--focused on the discomfort of religious leaders, many of whom declined to offer the full-throated endorsements that can drive churchgoers to the multiplex. Based on pre-release market research, the movie had been expected to make about $40 million this weekend.

Moviegoers' grades for the Russell Crowe release spoke to the polarizing nature of the film, which took significant liberties with the original text to adapt a spare biblical story into a Hollywood epic. According to the CinemaScore research firm, more than 60% of moviegoers gave the film an 'A' or 'B' grade, while 14% gave it a 'D' or 'F.' The movie's overall score was a 'C.'

Over the past couple of years, Paramount has reached out to faith leaders to try and get religious communities on board with the film. The studio said better-than-usual performances in markets like Oklahoma City, Houston and San Antonio indicated interest from the faithful.

'Noah' should perform better overseas than domestically, said Rob Moore, vice chairman at Paramount, since action-packed spectacles do particularly well in international territories and a biblical character like Noah has immediate name recognition. The movie has grossed $51.1 million internationally so far, in markets that include South Korea and Mexico. Its opening in Russia this weekend was an especially strong $17.2 million. The movie will next open in territories that include Brazil and Germany, but the studio has yet to hear whether the film will screen in the all-important Chinese market, where audiences flock to blockbusters but state censors may resist a biblically inspired film.

Domestically, Paramount says it expects 'Noah' to hold well at the box office and in the coming weeks attract older viewers, who tend to see movies later. The teen audience needed to keep 'Noah' and other films afloat will be harder to come by next week when 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' from Walt Disney Co.'s Marvel Studios is released and kicks off the summer blockbuster season. For its part, Paramount hopes that the debate generated by its film drives moviegoers who want see what the commotion is about.

'It seems like the conversation is just starting,' said Mr. Moore.

In other box office news, 'Divergent' from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. dropped to second place in its second week, collecting an estimated $26.5 million for a cumulative $95.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. Disney's 'Muppets Most Wanted' took third place with $11.4 million for a two-week total of $33.2 million.

The week's other new release, 'Sabotage' starring action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a DEA agent, was busted on arrival. The Open Road Films movie grossed $5.3 million in seventh place.

In a sign of just how powerful Christian endorsements can be for a film. 'God's Not Dead,' a faith-based movie starring Kevin Sorbo as a college professor on a journey of faith, collected $9.1 million from nearly 1,200 theaters in its second weekend. The Pure Flix Entertainment movie added about 360 theaters this weekend and managed a second-weekend gross just 2% below its debut last week.


这个票房成绩令维亚康姆(Viacom Inc.)旗下派拉蒙电影公司(Paramount Pictures)松了口气。最近几周,戴伦·艾洛诺夫斯基(Darren Aronofsky)执导的这部关于《创世纪》中方舟故事的电影让派拉蒙饱受批评。这部成本约1.25亿美元的影片是好莱坞数十年来第一部 经题材的史诗巨片。外界对该片的关注大多集中在宗教领袖的不安上--很多宗教领袖拒绝大力推荐该片,而他们的推荐原本会促使虔诚的教徒去影院观影。上映前的市场调查显示,这部影片上映首周末票房原本预计约4,000万美元。

观众给这部由罗素·克劳(Russell Crowe)主演影片的评价证明了该片两极分化的特点。这部影片将一段简单的 经故事改编成了好莱坞史诗片,自由发挥的程度很高。据市场研究公司CinemaScore的信息,60%以上的观众给该片的评分为“A”或“B”,14%的观众评分为“D”或“E”。该片的总体得分为“C”。

过去几年中,派拉蒙一直向宗教领袖示好,试图吸引宗教群体观影。派拉蒙说,俄克拉荷马城、休斯顿和 安东尼奥等市场的表现比通常更好,显示出信教人士对该片有兴趣。

派拉蒙副董事长摩尔(Rob Moore)称,《诺亚方舟:创世之旅》在海外市场的表现应该比美国本土更好,因为令人兴奋的特效在国际市场尤其受欢迎,而诺亚是人们耳熟能详的 经人物。这部电影迄今为止在包括韩国和墨西哥在内的国际市场票房为5,110万美元。该片上周末在俄罗斯上映的票房成绩尤其强劲,达1,720万美元。影片接下来将在巴西和德国等地上映,但派拉蒙尚未得知影片能否在重要的中国市场上映。中国观众会蜂拥前往影院观看热门大片,但政府审查机构可能会抵制 经题材的电影。

派拉蒙称,其预计《诺亚方舟:创世之旅》在美国本土的票房将保持良好势头,未来几周将会吸引年纪大些的观众,这类观众往往会迟些去看电影。迪士尼公司(Walt Disney Co.)旗下Marvel Studios出品的《美国队长2:冬日战士》(Captain America: The Winter Soldier)将于下周上映,揭开夏季大片季的序幕。届时《诺亚方舟:创世之旅》和其他影片吸引青少年观众的难度将会更大,青少年是支撑这些影片票房的主力群体。派拉蒙希望《诺亚方舟:创世之旅》引发的争议能促使那些希望了解争议从何而来的观众走进影院。


至于其他电影票房方面的消息,狮门影业公司(Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)出品的《分歧者》(Divergent)第二周票房跌至第二位,上周票房估计为2,650万美元,上映以来北美总票房为9,530万美元。迪士尼出品的《布偶大电影2》(Muppets Most Wanted)上周票房1,140万美元,排在第三,上映两周来的总票房为3,320万美元。

上周另一部新上映的影片《破坏者》(Sabotage)开局不利。动作影星、前加州州长阿诺德·施瓦辛格(Arnold Schwarzenegger)在片中饰演一位美国缉毒局(DEA)特工。这部由开路影业(Open Road Films)出品的影片上周票房530万美元,排在第七位。

《上帝未死》(God's Not Dead)上映后的第二个周末在近1,200家影院获得票房910万美元,显示出基督教题材电影的强大票房号召力。该片是一部以信仰为题材的影片,凯文·索尔博 (Kevin Sorbo)在片中饰演一位进行一场信仰之旅的大学教授。这部由Pure Flix Entertainment出品的影片上周末上映影院新增约360家,第二个周末的票房仅比首周末票房低2%。