Making a film about Noah's ark is going to undoubtedly piss a lot of people off. Remember Evan Almighty? Yeah, so do we. Maybe they're trying to avoid the same disappointment we felt when that film turned out to be crap. Who knows. Anyways, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE have all said they are banning Darren Aronofsky's Noah and there's calls from Egypt and a lot more countries in the Middle East to ban or boycott the film.
It's unsurprising, really, given that the region is explicitly mentioned in the source material and that the film is said to deviate from it as well. Will this affect the overall box-office, however? Not likely. The Middle East isn't exactly a hot-bed for American cinema so it's highly unlikely that Paramount are worried about this. If anything, it's probably a positive because it's generating publicity for the film.
Recently, the studio agreed to Aronofsky's cut of the film after testing several different versions of the film. Aronofsky himself hasn't made any comment on the film's status in the Middle East.
The film is due for release in Ireland on April 4th.