"Noah" may have debuted No. 1 at the box office over the weekend but the theological epic starring Russell Crowe ruffled some feathers among viewers who felt the film strayed too far from the Bible.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, "Noah" raked in $44 million over the weekend, surpassing last week's box office leader "Divergent" and the latest family favorite "Muppets" movie. But the film received only a mediocre C grade from Cinemascore, which tests audience reaction, according to The New York Times.
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"Much controversy centered on the director Darren Aronofsky's environmental messaging — his Noah appears not to be a meat eater and reprimands his son for picking a flower — and on action sequences that involve Transformer-like exiled angels encased in rock," The Times noted.
"Noah" stirred up debate even before its premiere when a handful of Arab countries banned the film
, complaining that it offended people and contradicted traditional Islam convention by depicting a prophet.
"People are getting their arms around, are they comfortable with it?" Rob Moore, Paramount’s vice chairman said to The Times. "There’s a small, vocal minority who are not."
The uproar even led Paramount Pictures to run a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie alerting moviegoers that "artistic license had been taken."
"Divergent" scored the second spot at the box office with $26.5 million, while "Muppets Most Wanted" drew in $11.4 million.
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