- Despite initial critical and commercial disappointment, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings has gained popularity on Netflix, becoming one of the most watched English-language movies of the first week of 2024.
- The film, which faced controversy for whitewashing, boasts a star-studded cast including Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Sigourney Weaver, but failed to impress both critics and audiences.
- This trend of successful streaming releases highlights a growing preference for watching movies at home rather than going to the cinema, causing concern for the future of theatrical releases.
Despite being one of the most lauded directors in Hollywood, Ridley Scott has made some missteps over his career, and 2014’s Exodus: Gods and Kings was one of them. However, while the biblical epic failed to match other historical masterpieces such as Gladiator, the Christian Bale-led movie has, like so many others, found a new lease of life streaming on Netflix.
As a movie with a 31% approval rate from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and not many more positive reviews from audiences, Exodus: Gods and Kings missed the mark in a big way for Scott back in 2014, proving to be one of the low points in the last 20 years of his career. Although the film boasted a cast of Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley, the film was hit with controversy, as it was accused of whitewashing the story. This led to the $200 million movie clawing back just $268 million at the box office.
However, after a decade, the film has become a huge pull for Netflix subscribers, with the film being one of the most watched English-language movies of the first week of 2024, dropping in at No. 4 with almost 19 million hours watched. Scott’s movie also takes the honor of being the oldest movie in the Top 10, which is dominated by recent releases including Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, Adam Sandler animated hit Leo, and the Julia Roberts movie Leave the World Behind.
Ridley Scott’s Epics Have Either Enthralled or Stalled
Although he is still probably best known as the creator of the Alien franchise, Scott does love a good historical drama. From the high of 2000’s Gladiator to the lows of Kingdom of Heaven, Scott has frequently plowed a hefty amount of money into making his historical epics…well, epic.
This is not something that has always paid off, as has been seen with his most recent release, Napoleon. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the French general, the movie finally arrived in cinemas at the end of 2023 to very mixed reviews and an overall consensus that the movie could have been shorter and concentrated more on telling its story than just focusing on its action.
Very similar to Exodus: Gods and Kings, Napoleon came with a hefty $200 million price-tag, and managed to make just $214 million in returns as the November box office continued to mirror much of the year with several movies massively underperforming. Although there is little doubt that Napoleon will likely get the same kind of homecoming welcome when it is released to streaming as Exodus has enjoyed, it continues a worrying trend for cinemas, with many people seemingly happy to wait a little longer to watch movies at home as part of a subscription rather than shelling out on a trip to the cinema.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is currently streaming on Netflix.
- Release Date
- December 3, 2014