TODAY | March 31, 2014
>>> 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.
>> and it's the first long-range