Theaters across the nation have offered a handful of unabashedly Christian films in recent years. Typically low-budget, limited-release features like “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” have performed exceptionally well among audiences who have plenty of other entertainment options available.
So far, however, 2014 seems to be shaping up as the year biblical messages will dominate American theaters.
While Hollywood productions like “Noah” have been criticized for leaving out important aspects of the Genesis narrative on which it is based, the film is nonetheless expected to be a box office hit. Meanwhile, “Son of God,” a film from the producer of last year’s “The Bible” miniseries,” took in an impressive $26 million earlier this month.
Perhaps the biggest cause for celebration among believers, however, came from a film that reached the fewest number of cinema screens overall. Reaching attendees in just 782 locations nationwide, “God’s Not Dead” racked up more than $8 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend. The result was nearly twice as much as was projected.
The performance warranted coverage by mainstream sources, including Variety, which acknowledged the warm reception such films have received recently.
An appearance by ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Willie Robertson might have played a role in the exceptional performance of the movie. The reality show star explained he and his wife accepted roles in the movie because he “thought it was well written and it came together.”
Despite its small budget, he said movies like “God’s Not Dead” have “really raised the bar with these faith-based movies.”
Robertson’s own success in the media marketplace has been in large part due to his family’s proud affirmation of faith in Christ. As leftist leaders attempt to pry faith out of the American experience, believers will inevitably support projects that buck the trend and embrace strong Christian values.
The popularity of such movies and television series is obvious evidence that Americans are not, as mainstream media suggest, shunning the faith that helped build this great nation. Furthermore, it is a testament to the capitalist system and should encourage future Christian filmmakers who now see that there is a reliable audience for their work.
–B. Christopher Agee
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