After weathering a sea of controversy, “Noah” arrived in first place at the weekend box office.
Paramount’s biblical epic starring Russell Crowe in the titular role opened with $ 44 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The imaginative take on the tale of Noah’s Ark by filmmaker Darren Aronofsky led some religious groups to claim the story had been inaccurately portrayed and prompted Paramount to add a disclaimer to marketing materials saying that “artistic license has been taken” in telling the story.
Lionsgate’s teen science-fiction thriller “Divergent” starring Shailene Woodley earned $ 26.5 million in its second weekend. Disney’s globe-trotting Muppet sequel “Muppets Most Wanted” featuring Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais came in third place with $ 11.4 million in its second weekend.
Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office
1. “Noah” – $ 44.0 M
2. “Divergent” – $ 26.5 M
3. “Muppets Most Wanted” – $ 11.4 M
4. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” – $ 9.5 M
5. “God’s Not Dead” – $ 9.1 M
6. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – $ 8.8 M
7. “Sabotage” – $ 5.3 M
8. “Need for Speed” – $ 4.34 M
9. “300: Rise of An Empire” – $ 4.3 M
10. “Non-Stop” – $ 4.1 M
WATCH the trailer for “Noah” (VIDEO)
Gallery | How to Survive a Flood (According to the Movies)
- Listen to the Guy Who Says He Got a Message From God
While you may not want to wait around for your own sign, it probably won’t hurt to follow a guy who claims to have received one. In “Evan Almighty,” the title character is written off as nuts until a flood actually happens and — how about that? — he happens to have built an ark that will hold all the locals who once doubted him. Make friends with that guy.
- But Don’t Wait for a Sign From God
Noah’s circumstance was pretty special, so it’s unlikely that God will give you an explicit set of instructions if you’re faced with a flood. But He may help you out in other ways — so look for the signs. In “Northfork,” a household’s fate is portrayed in the form of the classic religious joke, wherein the punchline is that, in Heaven, God says that he had sent them three boats, each of which they avoided in favor of a clearer sign. The lesson? Don’t wait. Just get in your neighbor’s boat.
- Grab Onto Something, Even If It’s a Symbol of Death
In an emergency, there’s no room for superstition. If you happen to be stuck in a valley that’s being purposefully flooded for damming reasons, like the boys in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, grab onto anything that floats — even if it’s a coffin. It may be bad luck, but at least you’re not drowning.
- Grab Onto a Tree (or Two)
In its depiction of the real 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, “The Impossible” shows Naomi Watts’s character using trees to escape the fatal tidal wave. First, she grabs tightly onto an upright tree trunk to keep from being washed away. Then, after letting go so she can reach her son, she grabs onto another tree, this one floating on the now calm but deep flood water.
- Carry an Umbrella (or a Honeypot)
Umbrellas are great to have around if it’s raining, but if the rain rain rain comes down down down, and the waters begin to rise, you may be able to to turn that umbrella upside down and use it as a canoe. If you’re small enough, that is. It worked for Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo in “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.” Also, did you know a honeypot can be used as a floatation device? Just ask Pooh.
- Head for the Nearest Library
It’s unclear why so many people run into the New York Public Library in “The Day After Tomorrow” as the streets of Manhattan begin to flood. Maybe it’s because it was an old, sound shelter, or maybe because it was the closest open building. In any event, it was a good spot to hunker down in, and later proved even more perfect when temperatures dropped way below freezing. What global warming?
- Follow Someone Who Knows His/Her Way Around
Years before he was Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” Tom Hardy was a hero in the British disaster movie “Flood.” He plays one of two London Underground workers who lead a group of survivors through tunnels, some secret, to avoid areas that are filling up with water. While the other guy doesn’t make it, Hardy’s character manages to lead a group to high ground. Similarly, in “Daylight,” Sylvester Stallone’s ex-emergency worker is familiar enough with the history of the fast-flooding Holland Tunnel to guide a small group of survivors to safety.
- Keep a Jet Ski Handy
Boats are great to have around in case of a flood, but a jet ski can be better — especially if you’re in a water-logged high school trying to navigate flood waters while evading bad guys. Chances are you won’t have to worry about the latter, but as seen in “Hard Rain,” the motorcycles-of-the-sea are perfect for maneuvering tight spaces that a boat just can’t. And, as proven in “Waterworld,” they’re also pretty convenient in the event a total global deluge.
- Build a Massive Floating Fortress
The main lesson to be learned in “Waterworld” is that boats, even ark-sized ones, are not as cool as floating fortresses. And who wants to sail around, aimlessly searching for dry land that doesn’t exist when you can relax on your very own man-made island? Of course, you’re still going to have to fight off pirates. So many pirates.
- Live in the Clouds
The thing about water is that, thanks to gravity, it only affects low-lying areas. So you’ll want to live high in the clouds to ensure you always avoid deadly deluges, like the one in sci-fi classic “Metropolis,” which engulfs the poor, underground masses who never, sadly, really stood a chance. So, if you’ve got the moolah, a lofty penthouse home can be your respite from rising waters. Just know that an eventual rebellion spurred by social inequality is going to happen at some point.
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