TODAY   |  March 31, 2014

‘Noah’ film rakes in $44 million in 3 days

Get ready for more biblical blockbusters from Hollywood after the story of “Noah” and the flood premiered in theaters over the weekend: The nation’s top box-office performer raked in $44 million in just three days. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> one movie at the box office , " noah " starring russell crowe . as janet shamlian explains, its success could spark a new trend.

>> reporter: could hollywood be getting religion? what hollywood saw over the weekend was the film " noah " becoming the nation's number one box office hit. raking in $44 million in just three days.

>> for a studio movie, it's a big hit . i think absolutely it's going to open the flood gates , dare i say, for future bible films.

>> they're often controversial.

>> behold his mighty hand!

>> "the ten commandments" was a huge success but criticized for diverging from biblical text. and there's been a deluge of criticism of " noah " for the same reason.

>> if you're looking for a biblical movie, this is definitely not it.

>> the movie is already banned in several muslim countries . comedian and atheist bill mauer says there's something to criticize everyone.

>> it must be doing something right.

>> both " noah " and "god's not dead" are in the top 25 while "son of god" is doing better than expected. some believe the controversy over " noah " has sparked interest.

>> i expected a science fiction flick, that's what i got.

>> it's like a slap in the face to religious people.

>> it was sci-fi with a grain of truth.

>> a rainmaker at the box office . janet shamlian , nbc news, houston.

>> $44 million reasons why they don't care.

>> exactly.

>> and it's the first long-range