The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

vnhsMIRROR.com

The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Christianity offers redemption at the box office

The light of the Christian entertainment industry is growing brighter amidst Hollywood’s profane productions.
RE-AWAKENING+The+Christian+entertainment+industry+has+surprisingly+eclipsed+various+mainstream+Hollywoods+releases.
PHOTOILLUSTRATION FOR THE MIRROR | KALY HERNANDEZ
RE-AWAKENING The Christian entertainment industry has surprisingly eclipsed various mainstream Hollywood’s releases.

Movies and shows are the storytellers of America and its values. The film industry has woven the most iconic love stories, produced explosive action shots, dropped iconic lines from unforgettable characters and captured the moving truths of Christianity. Yes, Christianity.

Hollywood’s biggest hits tend to base their plots on masked heroes and teenage lovers, not Jesus Christ. Christian films have a reputation for featuring goody-two-shoes characters, operating on rock-bottom budgets and promoting cliché moral messages. They’re not exactly the pinnacle of cinema. 

However, a recent shift in the entertainment industry has radically transformed the appeal of Christian filmmaking. The poor acting and holier-than-thou themes exit the picture as raw emotion, exceptional production and riveting storylines are ushered in. The phenomenal success of contemporary Jesus films has outshone secular productions, an anomaly in faith-based entertainment. 

“The Chosen,” directed by Dallas Jenkins, basks in the spotlight of today’s Christian staging. Breathing life into the gospels of the Bible, this mesmerizing TV show captures the life of Jesus the Nazarene and his earthly ministry. The iconic figures of the Bible are enlivened through intricate storytelling and heart-wrenching performances. “The Chosen” began as a crowd-funded show, but it swiftly emerged as a groundbreaking sensation, knocking several secular films out of the limelight. 

On the weekend of Nov. 20, 2022, “The Chosen” premiered the first two episodes of its third season in theaters. That’s right. This crowd-funded TV show made it onto the big screen. The showing became the highest-grossing event of Fathom Events, a business owned by major cinema companies like AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Theaters. 

In its opening weekend, “The Chosen” swept major Hollywood titles off their feet, generating a substantial $10 million. “She Said,” a dramatic biography starring Gwyneth Paltrow, amassed a mere $2 million in the same weekend. This Jesus production also outperformed “The Menu,” “Armageddon Time,” “Tar” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” 

In a recent Chicago WGN Radio interview, director Dallas Jenkins dove into what sets “The Chosen” apart from other Christian films, discussing how the show depicts Jesus, played by Jonathan Roumie, as an empathetic human rather than a sacred deity. He laughs, dances, cracks jokes and sympathizes with others. Roumie’s raw portrayal as the Son of Man ignites hearts as he heals the demon-possessed and stirs miraculous revival. 

Boasting over 500 million streams and a 99 percent average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear that “The Chosen” is a captivating production. 

“Jesus Revolution,” a similar blockbuster, has also garnered attention for its extraordinary success and undisguised Christian themes. 

Released by Lionsgate in February of 2023, “Jesus Revolution” narrates the historical 1970s Jesus Movement through the eyes of Greg Laurie, a teenager who experiences a radical transformation after his involvement in the movement. 

Peace signs, outlandish fashion choices, heavy drug use and sex obsessions are what ‘70s hippies are typically associated with. However, the hippies of the Jesus Movement were united by a mutual passion for Christ. The revolution exploded globally, and historians consider it the greatest spiritual awakening of all time. 

“Jesus Revolution” captures the sweeping revival of the movement through soul-stirring acts and powerful themes, holding $53 million at the box office. With an A+ CinemaScore, an impressive five-week streak in a box office top 10 slot and a 99 percent average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, you don’t need a spiritual revelation to realize this film was a crowd-pleaser. Even Variety exalted it as one of the most spellbinding faith-based productions, keen and moving without being in-your-face Christian. 

Upon its release, “Jesus Revolution” became Lionsgate’s top-grossing movie of the 2020s for two weeks. Just as “The Chosen” knocked Hollywood films out of the ballpark, “Jesus Revolution,” making $15.8 million in its opening weekend, outshone “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” and “Plane” in a shocking twist. 

Successful Jesus films don’t stop at “The Chosen” and “Jesus Revolution.” “God’s Not Dead,” a 2014 drama about proving God’s existence, earned $65 million on a $2 million budget. Similarly, inspired by the Christian band MercyMe, “I Can Only Imagine” produced $86 million on a $7 million budget in 2018. And of course, Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” takes the cake as the highest-grossing Christian film of all time, earning $612 million at the box office. 

The numbers speak for themselves. Michael Scott, co-founder and current CEO of Pure Flix, reflected on the resurgence of Jesus films and their shocking dominance over secular media, acknowledging the strong desire for Christian voices to be heard in filmmaking. 

A revival is stirring in the movie industry, and you don’t want to miss it. With Christian entertainment on the rise, perhaps the door is open for another Jesus Movement in the modern age.

The abridged version of this article appeared in the Fall 2023 print edition. This is an uncut version.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Mirror
$410
$20000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Van Nuys Senior High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Abigail Kim
Abigail Kim, Staff
The most magical thing to do in this world is to escape it. This is the power of reading, and it is a force I readily succumb to. A delectable story fills me with the greatest joy, and inventing extravagant tales offers a luscious meal to my hungry brain. My greatest wish as a beginning journalist is to communicate the wonderful quirks of the world through my perspective and to share the divine opinions of every viewpoint. In the eccentric witch’s brew of my mind, I weave characters, conflict, and emotions in fictional writing and dancing, or, as I like to call it, storytelling with the body. On a separate note, if I’m not hunched over my computer, you may find me chomping away on dark chocolate or shrieking at the top of my lungs at a KPOP concert. 
Donate to The Mirror
$410
$20000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

Comments are encouraged and appreciated. All comments are moderated. Please limit all comments to the topic of the post. Observe proper online behavior rules: No name-calling, profanity or personal attacks. ALL inappropriate content will be immediately removed.
All The Mirror Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *