By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher, and Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Christians this week are celebrating the fact that the superb faith-based movie, JESUS REVOLUTION, reached $40 million and then $45 million in ticket sales at the theatrical box office.
We don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but $45 million, while a nice sum in general, is not really a blockbuster success in the movie business.
And, we want Christian faith based movies to succeed. In fact, I told the Erwin brothers that JESUS REVOLUTION was so good that it should break the Hollywood $100 million glass ceiling, and it still can if Christians go to the movie!
In the first place, similar faith-based movies in the marketplace have earned as much as $91.44 million (HEAVEN IS FOR REAL in 2014). In fact, the faith-based movie SOUL SURFER, about Bethany Hamilton, already made $43.85 million back 12 years ago, in 2011. After that milestone, faith-based movies like SON OF GOD, WAR ROOM and I CAN ONLY IMAGINE made $59.70 million, $67.79 million and $83.48 million, respectively.
Of course, Hollywood has long considered $100 million at the box office the first sign that a movie has reached blockbuster status (that probably should be raised to $200 million, considering inflation).
So, Christian filmmakers realistically should be striving to match the kind of earnings that true blockbusters like LES MISERABLES ($148 million), THE BLIND SIDE ($256 million), MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING ($241), THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE ($291 million), THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST ($371 million), and THE LORD OF THE RINGS:RETURN OF THE KING ($378 MILLION) made. The ten biggest earners at the box office in the United States and Canada actually start at JURASSIC WORLD, which earned $653 million in 2015. Adjusted for inflation, the biggest earner in North American in the modern era is THE FORCE AWAKENS, STAR WARS:EPISODE VII, which earned $937 million in 2015 (TOP GUN:MAVERICK earned $718 million last year).
Someone is sure to point out, however, that the ill-considered COVID lockdowns have devastated box office earnings in the last three years.
However, if you look at the Top 10 movies at the box office, of the movies released in 2022, the tenth largest earner is PUSS IN BOOTS:THE LAST WISH at $182 million, with the biggest earner being the aforementioned TOP GUN:MAVERICK and the 25th largest being EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE at $75 million.
So, it seems fair to ask Christian filmmakers to shoot for the kind of money that the MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning movie PUSS IN BOOTS made, or the $377 million that the MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning movie JURASSIC PARK:DOMINION made. After all, if RETURN OF THE KING could make $378 million at the box office way back in 2003, surely somewhere out there in the redemptive section of the “World of the Imagination,” there’s a faith-based script ready to do so.
One thing’s for certain, however, Christian filmmakers need Christians to support their movies at the box office. And, no Christian in their right mind should be saying, “I don’t have to see JESUS REVOLUTION. It’s already a success at $45 million.”
MOVIEGUIDE® is designed to help Christian filmmakers and moviegoers reach these goals. We even have a five-day filmmaking workshop to help them achieve just that.
So, please support MOVIEGUIDE®, and please go see JESUS REVOLUTION, still in theaters, and other faith-based movies soon to be released, like BIG GEORGE FOREMAN, HIS ONLY SON, LUCKY LOUIE, and many more.
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