|‘Son of God’ tracking for $22.5 million opening weekend|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 28 February 2014 12:27 PM EST|
All signs are pointing to Son of God making a splash this weekend as it debuts in more than 3000 theaters nationwide Feb. 28. A considerable grassroots push from Christian retailers, churches, communities, and bloggers has helped the buzz for the movie explode in recent weeks, and according to ticket presales, trailer views, and increasing box office projections, all that buzz may pay off in big opening weekend numbers.
Projections issued by Boxoffice.com originally put Son of God at a $13 million opening weekend, but more recent estimates by Major Theater Chain (MTC) indicate the film could gross $22.5 million, according to Breitbart. This would put Son of God above the opening weekend performances of recent star-studded mainstream films such as Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and the RoboCop remake.
Faith Driven Consumer, the group behind the recent IstandWithPhil.com movement that helped reinstate Phil Robertson to Duck Dynasty, awarded Son of God a 4.5 star Faith-Friendly Film rating Feb. 28. Chris Stone, founder of the organization, said the movie will “perform strongly with Faith Driven Consumers” and that it “serves as a model for entertainment brands seeking to connect with faith audiences.”
Retailers, churches and communities have rallied around the movie, distributing free tickets to patrons, buying out screenings and spreading the word. Despite the film’s lack of high-powered stars, the film’s official trailer has garnered more than 3 million views on YouTube, and the grassroots buzz around the movie has resulted in regular coverage and interviews in the mainstream media during the past few weeks.
In kicking off what some have referred to as “Year of the Bible Movie” for Hollywood films, Son of God producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are hoping not only provide an outreach opportunity, but will also send a message that faith-based films have an enthusiastic following. The Russell Crowe-led Noah and Heaven is for Real, based on the 10-million-selling Thomas Nelson best-seller, are among the Biblical and faith-centered films coming to theaters this spring alone.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of The Passion of the Christ, the Mel Gibson-produced film that shocked the mainstream press with its $83.8 million opening weekend on its way to a $611.9 million worldwide box office take.