No one likes a bad movie, and before “The Passion of the Christ”, most Christian movies did not have great box office success.
Recently, Christian films have begun rising in quality, and sometimes they even become top-grossing blockbusters. With movies like “Overcomer”, “I Can Only Imagine”, “God’s Not Dead”, and “War Room”, diverse audiences now enjoy faith-based films.
“It [success] started some time ago with “The Passion of the Christ”, with Mel Gibson,” said Priscilla Shirer, who plays Principal Olivia Brooks in “Overcomer”. “That movie obviously was such high quality, that it started to sort of launch forward this whole new phase that we’re in with faith-based films.”
The increase in quality and popularity resulted in more buzz in Hollywood as well, with War Room making $67,790,117 in the box office, and others like God’s Not Dead not far behind with $60,755,732.
“War Room”, which got up to nearly $70 million in the box office, which is unheard of for most movies, not just faith-based movies, but for most films, that they don’t get up to $70 million, unless you’re a Marvel movie or something like that,” said Shirer. “This makes Sony and other film makers agree to put more money into faith based films, which allows us to spread the gospel further and wider and that’s what we’re after.”
Shirer explains that it is Alex Kendrick who convinced her to be in his movie “War Room” in the first place because he reminded her that she could reach far more people with the gospel using the movie media than any other type of genre.
“People may not go to church or read one of my Bible studies, but they will go to a movie,” said Shirer. “And now “War Room” has been viewed by over 200 million people!”
If the movie gets within the top three movies in the box office, Hollywood will be required to discuss them. This could spread the message of “Overcomer” and the gospel all over the world, and even to people who otherwise wouldn’t see or know about the film.
Lastly, Shirer gives advice to students who may want to pursue a career in media. She said to develop their craft, write as many drafts as it takes, accept criticism, surround yourself with others who can make you better, and never hide the fact that you are a Christian, but be “conspicuous and blatant about your faith.”
To hear more on her advice for students, check out this video.
According to Box Office Mojo https://www.boxofficemojo.com, “Overcomer made $3 million on its first day Aug. 23, and then went on to make over $35 million to date.
This matters because this movie presents an important message on identity: seeing who we are in God’s eyes, and knowing that because we are his children, life is new. It is also important because Shirer (playing a school principal and family friend) presents the gospel clearly to student and friend Hannah Scott played by Aryn Wright-Thompson. In the end, “Overcomer” is about identifying yourself in God instead of in your job, family, health, or anything of this world. Our identities as christians should define our lives, instead of just being something to put on the backburner until Sunday.