Friday Report: 'Exodus' Rules with $8.6 Million
Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings easily took first place on another quiet Friday at the box office.

Playing at 3,503 locations, Exodus opened to an estimated $8.6 million yesterday. That's significantly lower than Noah's $15.2 million debut, though the gap is due in part to the December release (when there's less of a rush on opening weekend).

The opening is at least on par with past December releases The Golden Compass ($8.7 million) and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ($8.3 million). For the weekend, Exodus is poised to earn between $23 and $25 million.

After leading the box office for the past three weeks, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 dropped to second place on Friday. The movie eased 43 percent—another strong hold—to $3.79 million, which brings its total to $269 million. Look for it to earn at least $12 million over the three-day frame.

Opening at 979 theaters, Chris Rock's Top Five wound up in third place with an estimated $2.5 million. That's a solid start for a movie playing in less than 1,000 theaters. For the weekend, Top Five will likely get to $7 million.

Penguins of Madagascar added $1.57 million on Friday, which puts it on track for around $7 million this weekend. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar rounded out the Top Five with $1.49 million.

Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice opened to $128,000 at five locations yesterday, which translates to a strong per-theater average of $25,600. While that doesn't compare to The Master ($48,425), it's still one of the biggest New York/Los Angeles debuts of the year so far. For the weekend, Inherent Vice should wind up with an average of at least $70,000 per theater.

Weekend Projections

1. Exodus - $23.5 million

2. Mockingjay - $12.5 million

3. Penguins - $7.1 million

4. Top Five - $7 million

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Grosses for Friday, December 12, 2014

• 2014 Domestic Box Office