Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings has topped the US box office with takings of $24.5 million on its debut weekend.
Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings cost a reported $140 million.
The movie, which stars Christian Bale as Moses, overtook the third installment of The Hunger Games, following three weeks at number one.
The film’s opening fell well short of other modern biblical epics, including Darren Aronofsky’s Noah which took $43.7 million on its opening weekend in March and 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, which took $83.3 million.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One remains at No 2 in the box office charts, although ticket sales were down 40% on the previous week, at $13.2 million.
The latest chapter in the franchise, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, has so far has earned a total of $277.4 million over its four-week run in US cinemas.
Spin-off animation, The Penguins of Madagascar, is number three at the box office, with takings of $7.3 million – just ahead of the weekend’s other major new entry, Chris Rock comedy Top Five, which took an estimated $7.2 million.
Awards contenders Wild, starring Reece Witherspoon, and The Theory of Everything, about physicist Stephen Hawking, both took spots in the top 10.
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