HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Lionsgate's Gerard Butler-led epic Gods of Egypt faces an uphill battle in this weekend's box office as it is expected to pull in $15 million.
The film, long controversial for its racially inaccurate cast, earned $800,000 from early showings Thursday night as well as a slew of mediocre reviews, with Variety critic Justin Chang calling it an "extravagantly silly foray into Afroasiatic mythology" that "oozes stupidity" but is still somehow "gloriously watchable."
The action-adventure flick, set in ancient Egypt, sees actor Gerard Butler play the tyrannical god Set, who murders his way into power.
Gods of Egypt cost $140 million to produce, and so will need a significant international audience to offset lower-than-expected revenues in the United States. Its rating on Rotten Tomatoes, at the time of publication is just 10 percent on the Tomatometer.
With a cast including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Geoffrey Rush, Courtney Eaton and Brenton Thwaites, Lionsgate and the film's executives sparked racial controversy in 2015 over its choice of a predominantly white cast, prompting director Alex Proyas to apologize.
"The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made," Proyas said at the time.