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Kobs ABKposted a blog, Wed, 10 Jan, 2024

Top 7 faith-inspired films of 2023


2023 was another successful year for faith-inspired movies. 

Jesus Revolution” kicked off the year by surpassing $50 million at the box office, followed by “Sound of Freedom” that was popular among Christian audiences and reached the coveted No. 1 spot at the box office for its July 4th release.

More recently, “After Death” became the highest-grossing documentary since 2019 and the top-grossing faith-based documentary of all time.

The following is a list of some of the most popular Christian films of the year.

  1. "Journey to Bethlehem” is a fictional version of the Nativity billed as appealing to both Christian and secular audiences. 

    The Sony/AFFIRM films movie has brought in $6,637,597 at the box office worldwide. It presents a fictional rendition of the story of Jesus' birth featuring pop songs and modern themes, including portraying Mary and Joseph as young strong-willed individuals.

    Filmed in Spain, actor Antonio Banderas stars as King Herod; for King & Country singer Joel Smallbone plays King Herod’s son; rapper Lecrae portrays the angel Gabriel; Milo Manheim plays Joseph, and “Outer Banks” actress Fiona Palomo stars as Mary.

    Creative liberties taken in the film that stray far from the biblical account of Jesus' birth have disappointed some Christian moviegoers. 

    As the project's description states, the musical “weaves classic Christmas melodies into new pop songs in a music-infused retelling of the timeless story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.”

    The film is directed by Adam Anders (“Glee,” “High School Musical,” “The Passion”), who teamed up with Peter Barsocchini to write the script. The music was composed by Nikki Anders (“Glee," “High School Musical”) and Peer Astrom. 


  2. The new Angel Studios documentary “After Death,” now showing in theaters nationwide, showcases people's experiences in the moments after dying and being revived back to life.

    The film had a historic opening weekend, becoming the highest-grossing faith documentary of all time after its weekend debut reached the No. 4 spot at the box office, earning $5,060,815.

    “After Death” is a “thought-provoking exploration into the enigmatic question that has fascinated humanity for centuries: ‘What happens when we die?’ Through personal accounts, philosophical discussions, and scientific research, the film takes viewers on a profound journey of discovery," according to the film's description. 

    In the movie, Captain Dale Black details the life-transforming experiences he had 50 years ago after a plane he boarded with his fight instructor and another pilot crashed into a monument, leaving him as the sole survivor. 

    Along with Black, others featured in the film include New York Times bestselling authors, doctors and scientists. 

    "After coming back to life, Black found that the things he learned in those moments, in between life and death, "deepened my faith." "But way more than that, it overhauled it. It put it on steroids. It turbocharged it. It's like taking a propeller-driven airplane and putting a rocket on it. It completely transformed me,” Black told The Christian Post in a recent interview.


  3. The film “The Blind” gives viewers a glimpse into the darkest years in the lives of "Duck Dynasty" stars Phil and Kay Robertson.

    Raking in $17,265,487 at the box office, "The Blind" takes viewers on a raw and powerful journey into the early years of Phil and Kay Robertson's marriage, highlighting their love story, years of heartache and hardship, and God's work Phil's life.

    Despite a decade of challenging times where the family was at great odds due to Phil's wild behavior, the patriarch eventually surrendered to Christ. His come-to-Jesus moment changed the course of his family's life forever.

    Now, all of his children — Willie, Al, Jase, Jep and his daughter, Phyllis (from an extramarital affair) — all serve Jesus and are outspoken Christians.

    "It's powerful. It's real. In some ways, it was hard to watch for us. It's hard to go back and highlight the darkest point of your life. I'm sure for my parents, that was the tough part," Willie Robertson said in an interview with CP. 

    The family's journey has been in the public eye since their hit series "Duck Dynasty" made waves on A&E, followed by a series of books and podcasts. What the world has seen are the positive outcomes from Phil's surrender to Christ and the impact it's had on his life, children and grandchildren.

    However, "The Blind" pulls back the curtain on what took place before Phil surrendered to Christ.

    The film is directed by Andrew Hyatt ("Paul, Apostle Of Christ," "Full Of Grace"), and features actors Aron von Andrian ("Dodger"), Amelia Eve ("The Haunting of Bly Manor"), Brielle Robillard ("The Lake") and Matthew Erick White ("Station 19").


  4. Divine Influencer” was the No. 1 film on the Great American Pure Flix streaming service this year upon its release. The Shari Rigby-directed film stars Lara Silva ("The Chosen”), who plays a young influencer who goes from riches to rags in film.

    Rigby started creating the movie in 2015 after working with the outreach facility The Dream Center in Los Angeles

    "As we started to really work through this script and the story in general, we started to realize that one, for such a time as this, and two, this is something that we should be tackling more often so we can actually talk about how, as Christians, we can influence the culture for Christ. So it's an important topic,” Rigby told The Christian Post in a recent interview

    “Divine Influencer” follows “an entitled influencer [who] is humbled by losing everything. She begins working at a homeless shelter so that she has a place to live. With God’s help, she discovers her true purpose comes from serving others,” the film’s synopsis reads.

    Silva revealed that the movie was something she needed in her own walk with God. "I think that it was something that God knew I needed. With filming 'The Chosen,' it's totally different than 'Divine Influencer,'” Silva told CP. "I just learned so much about my own faith, who I am, and what serving really means. It's just been so fun.”

    The movie features moments where the cast laughs, cries and dances. Both Rigby and Silva celebrated their time together on set. In the three weeks of filming, they recall becoming “like a family.”

    Alongside Silva, “Divine Influencer” features Jason Burkey (“The Walking Dead”), Jesse Metcalfe (“John Tucker Must Die”) and Micah Lynn Hanson (“Like Arrows”). 


  5. The film "Sound of Freedom" earned over $40 million in one week at the box office. Despite an onslaught of criticism from secular media, the movie has earned over $248 million worldwide to date. The film surpassed box office expectations and topped numbers of big-budget franchises like “Indiana Jones” and “Mission: Impossible.”

    The Angel Studios flick had a goal to draw 2 million people for its release week as a way to represent the 2 million children who are being trafficked worldwide. Their goal was exceeded in just four days. 

    As a result of "Sound of Freedom’s" "Pay It Forward" technology used by Angel Studios, the true-life thriller surpassed Disney/Lucasfilm's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," and took the No.1 spot at the box office on Independence Day. 

    "Sound of Freedom," tells the true story of one man's journey to combat child sex trafficking. 

    The Angel Studios movie is based on the life of Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent who left his job because he wanted to do more to rescue children from modern-day slavery.

    The film delivers a bold message calling for the freedom of millions of children enslaved in human trafficking, declaring that "God's children are not for sale." 

    Directed by Alejandro Monteverde, "Sound of Freedom" stars Jim Caviezel ("Passion of The Christ"), Oscar winner Mira Sorvino ("The Final Cut"), Bill Camp ("12 Years a Slave") and José Zúñiga ("Twilight"). Along with acting in the film, Eduardo Verástegui ("Unplanned") is the film's producer.

    The film received an A+ CinemaScore, an 85% critics score and a 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.


  6. The documentary “Come Out In Jesus Name” stirred controversy and garnered substantial  criticism but drew thousands of Americans to theaters across the nation to watch the work of deliverance ministries. 

    With several encore showings following its release, the film follows the deliverance ministry work of Pastors Greg Locke, Alexander Pagani, Isaiah Saldivar, Mike Signorelli, Vladimir Savchuck and Daniel Adams. 

    The movie features the testimony of Locke, a formerly self-described cessationist who now embraces the gifts of the Holy Spirit and encourages Christians to embrace their authority in Jesus to free themselves and others of demonic oppression.

    After the film's initial release, moviegoers flooded social media with posts sharing accounts of oppression being released in theaters. Similar accounts were shared following the encore showings.

    "Come Out in Jesus Name" was initially released for two days only and soared to No. 5 at the box office to be among the highest-grossing films on its release day. The film received a 97% Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score and delivered its second-highest per-screen average during its encore. 


  7. “Jesus Revolution” kicked off the year as a surprise hit at the box office for an independent film.

    Surpassing $50 million at the box office, the movie highlights the ministry of Revivalist Lonnie Frisbee, a flawed minister used greatly during the Jesus Movement of the 1970s. 

    “Jesus Revolution” was inspired by the true story of the spiritual awakening that swept Southern California in the late 1960s and early '70s.

    The Kingdom Story film, in collaboration with Lionsgate, was directed by filmmakers Jon Erwin ("I Can Only Imagine") and Brent McCorkle and produced by Kevin Downes. 

    In the movie, Pastor Greg Laurie and his wife, Cathe, best known for leading Harvest Christian Fellowship, represent a young, wayward generation. But after meeting Frisbee, a charismatic hippie street preacher, they find themselves at the church of Pastor Chuck Smith.

    Despite Frisbee's significant influence and leadership during the Jesus Movement and later Vineyard Church in Yorba Linda, he struggled with his faith, drug use and homosexuality. He died from AIDS at the age of 43.

    Upon its release, the film brought in an estimated $15.5 million at the box office, more than double the original estimate of $6 million.

    "Jesus Revolution" received a 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and an A+ CinemaScore.


Source: The Christian Post


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