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Noah rains down on Divergent, Muppets to win US box office

Published on Mar 31, 2014 6:59 AM

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Noah, starring Russell Crowe as the biblical figure who built an ark to save his family and specimens of every animal from the great flood, collected US$44 million (S$55 million) in United States (US) and Canadian ticket sales to lead the weekend box office.

It sailed past last weekend's winner, Divergent, based on the novel by Veronica Roth about a dystopian world divided into factions. Divergent collected US$26.5 million and a total of US$95 million since its March 21 release.

Muppets Most Wanted, starring Ty Burrell and Tina Fey with Jim Henson's furry puppets, was third with US$11.4 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates provided by Rentrak.

The road for Noah to theatres was bumpy. To counter reports in trade newspapers that Christians disapproved of the film, Paramount Pictures, the film's distributor, commissioned a survey by Nielsen that found 83 per cent of "very religious" moviegoers were anxious to see the film.

A billboard for the biblical epic film "Noah" starring Russell Crowe is seen on March 11, 2014 in Hollywood, California. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
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