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Written and Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
As an avowed Marxist, homosexual, and atheist, Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini may seem to some a dubious choice to have made one of the most austere, faithful, and simply one of the best films about the life and death of Jesus Christ. But, with The Gospel According to Matthew, from 1964, that’s exactly what the controversial filmmaker, poet, novelist, and theorist did. This gritty and unpolished depiction of the life of Christ contains many of the narrative hallmarks featured in other film versions of the same story: the virgin birth, the early miracles, the apostles, Christ’s persecution and, ultimately, the crucifixion. However, no other cinematic depiction of this well-known chronicle looks, sounds, or feels quite like this one.
- Jeremy Carr
“There isn’t really a controversy,” “Noah” director Darren Aronofsky said just seven days after Paramount Pictures decided to add a disclaimer to moviegoers that the film is not exactly the same story portrayed in the Bible.
In February, Variety ran a story stating that the film may face some rough seas with religious audiences, according to a survey conducted by Raleigh, N.C.-based organization Faith Driven Consumers. Paramount criticized the story as “misleading.”
“The controversy is all about the unknown and about the fear of people trying to exploit a Bible story,” Aronofsky said Thursday at a Gotham art exhibit promoting the film’s March 28 release. “It will all disappear as soon as people start seeing the film.”
- Addie Morfoot
Non-Stop stands in first place with an opening weekend of $30 million, beating Son of God by $3.5 million. The religious blockbuster earned $4 million alone in advance ticket sales. In a similar manner to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, organised trips helped the film to pull in a solid $26.5 million.
The Lego Movie moved past the $200 million mark and has already earned $330 million worldwide. Meanwhile, the rereleased Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues opened in 1317 theaters in the Us, pulling in $1,335,000.
- Gary Collinson
Liam Neeson may now officially be richer than God -- his thriller "Non-Stop" opened at No. 1 with an estimated $30.0 million -- but God did awfully well this weekend, too. "Son of God" opened in second place with an estimated $26.5 million, far more than the $15-20 million pundits had expected. (Even its distributor, 20th Century Fox, predicted just a modest $12-15 million.)
Christian-themed movies are a notoriously iffy prospect. Faith-based marketing organizations insist that there's a largely untapped audience of moviegoers out there who would gladly spend money on a film that treated their beliefs with respect, even if it came from that dreaded cesspool of sin known as Hollywood. And yet few of Hollywood's offerings have connected with that audience in the decade since "The Passion of the Christ" awakened Hollywood to the potential of Christian-themed films. Of course, "The Passion" was made and distributed independently, as are most religious-themed features these days, »
- Gary Susman
It seems that audiences want to see Liam Neeson in action films, because the actor's "Non-Stop" movie has just taken first place at the domestic box office with earnings of $30 million. That marks the best opening for a Neeson movie outside of "Taken 2," which opened to $49.5 million in 2012. Overseas, "Non-Stop" grossed another $20 million for a worldwide debut of $50 million, the exact amount of money it cost to make the film. "Non-Stop" has a 58% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. The other new wide release of the weekend was "Son of God," which landed in second place with $26.5 million, the second-best opening for a Christian film after "The Passion of the Christ," which was released exactly one decade ago. The movie is an adaptation from the hit television mini-series "The Bible." "Son of God" has a lousy 25% fresh rating. Meanwhile, "Frozen," which just won the Oscar for best animated film, also just »
People love to watch Liam Neeson fighting to get out of impossible situations. Taken, Taken 2, Unknown and The Grey all opened at number one. This weekend continued the tradition with Non-Stop banking $30 million for an easy number one. Second place went to Son of God which banked $26 million. That's a noticeably lower opening from the last feature film about Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, which debuted with $83 million back in 2004. After three weekends at number one The Lego Movie was finally toppled, dropping to third place. But adding $21 million to its total, the animated feature cruised past the $200 million mark. Frozen spent its 15th weekend in the top ten and is nearing the $400 million line in domestic sales. Internationally it passed the billion dollar mark, joining an elite group of just seventeen other movies to achieve that level of sales. For the full weekend top ten, check out »
Los Angeles (AP) — Liam Neeson has grounded the "The Lego Movie." The action star's airliner thriller "Non-Stop" arrived in first place at the weekend box office, effectively ending the Warner Bros. animated film's three-week blockade at the top spot. The Universal film stars Neeson as a federal air marshal on a doomed flight. "Non-Stop" ascended in its first weekend with $30 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. "I think the fact that audiences were ready for a suspense thriller was a lot to do with the film's success, and obviously Liam is an absolute box office draw," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. "One of the main reasons people were coming to see the film was Liam." Fox's "Son of God" debuted closely behind "Non-Stop" in second place with $26.5 million. The film recounts the story of Jesus' life using footage from the production of History Channel's 10-part miniseries "The Bible. »
- Derrik J. Lang (AP)
The thriller opened to an estimated $30m this weekend, bringing the computer-animated movie's three-week run at number one to an end.
Neeson stars as Us federal air marshal Bill Marks, who is faced with a potential hostage situation during a flight from New York to London.
However, the biblical movie's performance falls short of The Passion of the Christ, which earned over $26m on its first day.
The Lego Movie is down to number three with $21m »
Liam Neeson may not have become a full-fledged action star until he was in his mid-50s, but the man is proving downright unstoppable at the box office. Neeson’s latest action outing, Non-Stop, bested the competition this Oscar weekend with a stronger-than-expected $30 million opening, knocking The Lego Movie out of the No. 1 spot it had held for three straight weeks and topping the weekend’s other major debut, Son of God, which took second place with $26.5 million.
- Josh Rottenberg
Non-Stop and Son of God ruled the box office over Oscar weekend. The Liam Neeson action movie took first place with $28.9 million, while Son of God was an impressive runner-up.Meanwhile, Disney Animation's Frozen became the 18th movie ever to earn over $1 billion worldwide. More importantly, it's only the fifth movie ever to hit that milestone that's not a sequel or prequel. With an opening in Japan on the way, Frozen will likely end its run in the Top 10 all-time.Playing at 3,090 locations, Non-Stop led the way with $28.9 million. That's a significant step up from recent Neeson movies Unknown ($21.9 million) and The Grey ($19.7 million). It's also on par with similar movies like Olympus Has Fallen ($30.4 million) and Inside Man ($29 million). Following Lone Survivor and Ride Along, this is the third movie from Universal Pictures to open in the top spot this year. Even more impressive is the fact that all »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Here are your three-day box office returns (new releases bolded): 1. Non-Stop - $30.0 million 2. Son of God - $26.5 million 3. The Lego Movie - $21.0 million 4. The Monuments Men - $5.0 million 5. 3 Days to Kill - $4.9 million 6. RoboCop - $4.5 million 7. Pompeii - $4.3 million 8. Frozen - $3.6 million 9. About Last Night - $3.4 million 10. Ride Along - $3.0 million The Big Stories Would the Christians show up this weekend? That was the question on every box office prognosticator's mind. On one hand, it's hard to underestimate them during this impending holy period. Ten years ago, The Passion of the Christ was such an event that it remains the second biggest film ever released between January and April; beaten only by The Hunger Games. On the other...
- Erik Childress
Well, Son of God failed to ignite the religious base with the same fervor as something such as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, but considering it's a film edited down from a television mini-series, which is to say it's essentially the same as printing money, the $26.5 million it brought in for a second place finish this weekend is nothing to dismiss. In fact, it might not be done as it dipped only 2% from Friday to Saturday and it's not quite clear just how well it might end up doing on Sunday. Fox also has to love that "A-" CinemaScore, but what else would you expectc Taking #1, however, is the latest Liam Neeson actioner, Non-Stop, bringing in $30 million and an "A-" CinemaScore. Non-Stop is the second highest opening for one of Neeson's latest actioners, second only to Taken 2 ($49.5 million), but higher than The Grey ($19.6m), Unknown ($21.8m »
- Brad Brevet
Despite middling reviews, Neeson’s cat-and-mouse thriller Non-Stop pulled in $10 million on Friday to take the No. 1 spot. While this is a weaker opening than Neeson’s last action outing, 2012′s Taken 2, the film earned an A- CinemaScore from audiences, which should help push it to a better-than-expected $30 million take for the weekend and proves that Neeson’s appeal to fans of old-school action movies shows no sign of stopping. »
- Josh Rottenberg
After three weeks of Lego dominance, first place will go to a new movie this weekend. Liam Neeson action flick Non-Stop has received the broader marketing push, though Son of God has been generating the type of presales that suggest it could be a breakout hit with underserved Christian moviegoers.At 3,090 locations, Non-Stop reteams Neeson with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra. Since Taken became a surprise hit in 2009, it feels like Neeson has been everywhere; however, the only movies since then that have been sold primarily on Neeson's appeal are Unknown and The Grey. Those opened to $21.9 million and $19.7 million, respectively, and distributor Universal is expecting a similar result for Non-Stop this weekend.There are reasons to think that Non-Stop could open a bit higher than those movies. Marketing has smartly highlighted the movie's intriguing, appealing set-up: can Neeson's beleaguered air marshall solve a whodunit before more airline passengers die? It »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Have you checked everything off your Oscar to-do list? With the Academy Awards rolling out the red carpet on Sunday, if you're caught up, this weekend is a good time to catch a grab bag of films ranging from the tiniest of indies to an escapist actioner. The must-to-avoid is Fox's hack Christ Movie, which looks like it's made from outtakes from TV's "The Bible"--it's from the same producing team. If you want to see what smart filmmakers can do with the Jesus story, watch Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" or Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" instead. Trailers below. Ritesh Batra's feature debut, the unprepossessing indie "The Lunchbox," has heart. Set in and around Mumbai's grand-scale lunchbox delivery system, the warm, well-observed romantic drama was snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics out of Cannes, where it won the viewer's choice award at Critics' Week. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Jesus did not chase the money changers out of the temple yesterday. But his producers– Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (TV's "The Bible") -- did ring the closing bell at one of New York’s temples of money yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, the Nasdaq closed up. Jesus himself – sorry, we mean Diogo Morgado, Portuguese soap actor and star of the Burnett-Roma produced “Son of God” which Twentieth Century Fox opens Friday – is helping to bring the greatest story ever told back to theaters for the first time since director Mel Gibson flogged Jim Caviezel in “The Passion of the Christ" (2004). Unlike “Passion,” Morgado’s movie does not subject his Jesus to endless scourging, or the Jews to libelous accusations. But like Gibson and Caviezel, Morgado is a true believer, and found his Jesus during a trip to Israel, a journey that “actually that changed my approach to the role. »
- John Anderson
With Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” and Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” preparing to duke it out for Old Testament auteur supremacy, Hollywood’s religious renaissance gets off to a none-too-spectacular start with a chewed-over New Testament appetizer called “Son of God.” A clumsily edited feature-length version of five episodes from History’s hugely popular 10-hour miniseries “The Bible,” this stiff, earnest production plays like a half-hearted throwback to the British-accented biblical dramas of yesteryear, its smallscreen genesis all too apparent in its Swiss-cheese construction and subpar production values. Yet while Jesus’ teachings have been reduced to a muddle of kindly gestures and mangled Scriptures, the scenes of his betrayal, death and resurrection crucially retain their emotional and dramatic power, which the charitable viewer may deem atonement enough for what feels, in all other respects, like a cynical cash grab.
As the first quasi-bigscreen account of the life of Jesus in the »
- Justin Chang
If the last big theatrical film about Jesus, the blockbusting The Passion of the Christ, in 2004, sensationalized the violence of the Nazarene's final hours, Son of God is notable, by contrast, for its missionary spirit, stressing in its climactic moments the duty of believers to spread the word about the savior's teachings to the world. As such, this quite mediocre spawned-from-television feature feels like a Jesus film designed primarily for true believers, meaning that the faith-based public that has already been put on alert by seal-of-approval-dispensing church leaders that this is a film
- Todd McCarthy
One of the most Our Kind of Shows-friendly networks, The CW, has done us a few more favors, bless ‘em. They’ve given us not only the dates for the season finales of all Our Kind of Shows that they broadcast – that’s Arrow, The Tomorrow People, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Star-Crossed, and The 100 – but tacked on a new one as a bonus!
Well, it’s not a new series, but Labyrinth is a four-hour miniseries, and it stars so many familiar faces. The War Doctor! The Winter Soldier! Draco Malfoy! Defiance‘s Datak Tarr! Winter’s Tale‘s Beverly! More info about that below, along with the season finale dates and times. The SciFi Mafia Calendar (see the Calendar tab above) has also been updated.
- Erin Willard
Faith-based audiences will play a starring role at the North American box office this weekend as 20th Century Fox debuts Son of God, the first of several biblical epics scheduled for 2014. The film opens exactly a decade after Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ became an instant hit, opening to a massive $83.8 million on its way to earning $612 million worldwide. Son of God, lacking the controversy that Passion of the Christ sparked, isn't expected to match those numbers. Story: From 'Noah' to 'Son of God,' 2014 Is Jam-Packed With Bible-Based
- Pamela McClintock
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