Why Do Christian Films Bomb? (No, Really?)


Much to the surprise of Hollywood, The Passion of the Christ took in an earth-shattering $370.8 million domestically back in 2004 when it was released, cueing Hollywood into the huge, economic power of Christian moviegoers. The Passion was the fifth top-grossing film globally that year ($612 million), beating out the likes of Troy, Shark Tale and Meet the Fockers. And even now, it’s still the highest-grossing R-rated domestic movie of all time.

In the 13 years since, studio executives have been looking for those same ticket buyers. Most of the time, they haven’t found them.

But it’s not just Tinsel Town’s non-religious crowd scratching their heads. It’s also well-meaning, Kingdom-oriented directors and producers wondering what it takes these days to mine movie gold at the box office. Where are the folks that lined up to see The Passion and what does it take to get them (back?) into theater seats?

Because of what I do here at Plugged In, I’ve had the unique opportunity to give advice to film makers on several occasions. It’s more complicated than this, but I typically advise that all films should concentrate on the Big Two (a great story; and plenty of promotional dollars). Still, I realize plenty of other factors go into the mix to ultimately result in a box office smash. Guessing which faith-based films will succeed and which will bomb is iffy to say the least. But, without trying to pat myself on the back, I often predict correctly.

But admittedly, I don’t guess right every time. For instance, I could never have conjectured the success of God’s Not Dead ($60.7 million in 2014), nor did I presume Captive, stocked with a resonant story and A-list cast, would make a measly $2.5 million in 2015 (I thought more $25 million).

In Hollywood’s calculus, even movies that make quite a bit of money can be considered flops. Take a look at last year’s Ben-Hur remake, which made $26 million. In my opinion, that’s a lot of cash and about right for a remake that no one was asking to be remade. The problem was, Paramount Pictures reportedly spent $100 million to make it! If only the studio would have contacted me before racing those chariots!

For the last three years in a row, there have been at least 12 faith-based films annually. It actually works out to more than one a month on average, something I could only have dreamt about a decade ago. I say “at least,” because everyone defines “Christian film” or “faith-based film” differently. When I mentioned Captive above, a number of you said to yourself, “Well, that’s not a Christian film!” I get that. Add in films like Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Silence, Hacksaw Ridge and Little Boy, and you can see why it’s difficult to get a handle on what a “Christian” film looks like and how collectively they are faring at the box office.

Still, even though we don’t always agree on what constitutes a “Christian film,” we’d all agree that there’s a lot more of ‘em these days than in the past. While no Christian film has hit Passion numbers, a boatload have done quite well (defined as significantly making more than their cost). For example, Heaven Is for Real cost $12 million to make and returned $91 million. Kendrick Brothers Pictures and AFFIRM Films spent $3 million on War Room in 2015, and studio was rewarded with a $68 million take. Son of God reportedly was made for $22 million and nearly tripled that at the box office.

Still, many Christian film makers can only dream about financial returns like these! Case in point: The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, 2017’s first Christian movie. For its opening weekend (Jan. 20-22), it came in at a rather dismal 18th place with just $1,530 made per each theater. (For comparison’s sake, the weekend’s No. 1 movie, Split, collected $13,229 per theater).

I don’t know personally how it feels to make a movie that doesn’t do well, but I think I have a pretty good idea what it looks like to send something into the marketplace and have it greeted with the equivalent of a shoulder-shrug. (A media discernment book I wrote a few years back didn’t exactly hit the bestseller’s list.) You feel you’re doing the Lord’s work, confident that “your baby” will reach a lot of people for Christ. And then it doesn’t.

Gavin Stone’s director, Dallas Jenkins, posted the following on Facebook (excerpted below):

So what do you do when something you poured yourself into just doesn’t land?

I won’t mince words. The Resurrection of Gavin Stone had a very disappointing opening weekend and an even more disappointing day yesterday [Jan. 27]. Yes, we’ve gotten incredible feedback from those who’ve seen it, and it’s had tremendous impact on multiple churches and individuals. And that’s the main reason we do these movies.

But to be able to make more, your movie has to perform, and people on a mass scale need to want to see your movie. And as much as I can point to multiple factors that impacted the box office, I can’t play the blame game. Something I created and believed in and thought would work simply didn’t connect on a measurable level. People didn’t want to see it in a theater, and I thought they would. Period.

So what do you do when that happens, in any career path? Certainly sadness is a factor, and my wife and I have dealt with that over the last week for sure. Questioning yourself, the future, etc, is all part of it.

But Amanda and I did something that has sustained us through this time. We pursued God and sought to hear what we could from Him. He made it 100% clear, to us and through others who felt led to share something with me, that I’m only to bring my five loaves and two fishes, the rest is up to Him.

And I can honestly say I’m better spiritually right now than I’ve ever been.

For the first time in my life, I would be 100% fine if I couldn’t make another movie (and that may not be my choice! [smiley face] ). That’s actually a great place to be in.

I appreciate Dallas. I appreciate that he took a risk to make this movie. I appreciate his attitude. I’m glad he’s “better spiritually right now than [he’s] ever been.” Still, I’m disappointed for him. I’m a big Kingdom-guy. I want things that bring people to Christ, or strengthen people of faith to be hugely successful. Gavin clearly did not do that on the scale Dallas and his wife had hoped.

So, my question to you is, outside of the two factors I suggested above—a great story and plenty of promotional dollars—what else does it take for a faith-based film to be a hit? Nearly a third of Americans self-identify as “evangelical.” Why are these evangelicals (and others) not showing up for the Gavin Stones of the film world?

Who wrote this?

Bob Waliszewski is the director of the Plugged In department. His syndicated “Plugged In Movie Review” feature is heard by approximately 9 million people each week on more than 1,500 radio stations and other outlets and has been nominated for a National Religious Broadcaster’s award. Waliszewski is the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids With Love, Not War. You can follow him on Twitter @PluggedInBob.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Darryl Johnson More than 1 year ago
I think one of the biggest battles "Christian" films face is the battle to convince people of faith that it's a "good Christian movie."  I see arguments on FB all the time about the quality of acting, the theology, the story, etc. of every Christian movie that comes out.  "It's too stuffy."  "It's not true to the Gospel."  "The acting is bad."  "Why would they hire her for a Christian movie?  Don't they know she did a shower scene in a movie 20 years ago?"  "Why did they hire him for this movie?  Don't they know he was divorced twice?"  If I were a movie maker, I would probably try to steer clear of making a Christian movie, because fellow believers are often the worst, harshest, and most merciless critics.  We tend to "eat our own."  I have to point a finger at myself, because I have been very critical of The Shack.  I won't go see the movie for my own reasons, but I have Christian friends who really tried to put the guilt trip on me, telling me that it was such a wonderful story that I need to put my differences aside.  I try to watch as many faith-based and biblically-based movies as I can, but we usually go to a theater just once or maybe twice a year, just because of the cost.  Some of the movies are, frankly, horribly done, and no matter how much lipstick you put on the pig, it's still a pig.  Cheesy story line.  Bad acting.  Over-the-top, hit-you-in-the-face message.  They need to come up with story lines that are more subtle, better acting, better script writers, and better marketing.  (I know, I'm expressing some of the same objections and sentiments that I mentioned above, but I think they are valid.)  Here are my final thoughts.  I want faith-based movies to be made.  When they are, the producers need to decide who their target audience is, and tailor the movie to that audience.  Are they just trying to make a movie that will attract believers?  That will take them in one direction.  Are they trying to make a movie to draw non-believers to the Gospel? That will be a very different direction.  Are they making an historically or biblically accurate story?  That will be a third direction.  And, after they've figured out who their target audience is, they need to develop a marketing strategy that will reach their target demographics.
Stacy Wallace More than 1 year ago
My teenage daughter and I had been anxiously awaiting The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. We had planned to go it's opening weekend because I know that it makes a big difference. Unfortunately my daughter had school functions that Friday and Saturday night she couldn't miss. So we planned to go the next weekend and were shocked when it wasn't in the theater. Not even two weeks there while trash movies stay for over a month? If I had known it was only going to be the one week I would've broken my "not on a school night" rule and gone during the week. We try to go to every faith based movie that comes out and then buy them when they hit DVD. We were very disappointed not to see it. The closest theater that was showing it the 2nd weekend was over 3 hours away. Not y'alls fault but it's got to be in the theater for us to go to it.
Nicole Taylor More than 1 year ago
I have come to the realization that unless you have marketing expertise and a large advertising budget to promote your films, then they are pretty much dead in the water. People can't watch what  they don't know about. In addition the marketing also has to be appealing. People are not likely to part with their hard-earned dollars if a trailer doesn't peak their interest. So promotion is a huge part of a film's success. Certainly a decent, plausible script, and decent acting is also important. 
Having said all that, however, I think the most important thing we need to take away from all this is that God is in control. It may not be His will that every Christian movie becomes a blockbuster, just like it is not His will that every Christian becomes a millionaire. Jesus said "If the world hates you keep in mid it hated me first. If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own." Most people do not love Christian fare.  As sinful beings we tend to be attracted to what is dark and sinful. Fifty Shades of Grey did very well as a book possibly as a film too. was it an Oscar worthy movie? was the book well-written. No to both those things. Yet it appealed to human beings carnal nature.  So its unrealistic to compare Christian films to secular ones in terms of their level of popularity. 
Another thing, God's plans and purposes are much deeper than bringing us commercial success for our every effort. I believe that if God calls you to something you obey, whether it reaches ten people or ten thousand people. Sometimes we get too caught up in the world's opinion of us and our efforts. Our eyes must always be on Jesus. Dallas has the right attitude. Bring the fish and loaves, God would decide what he'll do with that. Just be obedient.
Jody Daniels More than 1 year ago
I had not heard of this particular movie until after it had been in theaters for a while. We don't go to the theater very often, once or twice per year, due to our tight budget. When we do go, it's usually because a big screen would make a difference. We usually rent at home so all 7 of us can watch and we do plan on renting this movie when it becomes available. 
Tish Soulliard More than 1 year ago
I think for us, it is the lack of budget and consequently lack of action/epic-ness.  We pretty much only go to the theater to see movies that "need" the big screen.  So pretty much only big action (blockbuster) flicks.  I've personally gone to see quite a few Christian movies with friends or relatives, by my husband has never been interested in any of them, and unless they start being like a Marvel movie in regards to action packed, I don't see that changing anytime soon.
Levi Jaeger More than 1 year ago
I am a young adult who love action.  Be it with lasers and spaceships, swords and wizards--I love it all.  As much I appreciate what Christian filmmakers are hoping to accomplish, I can say the only "Christian movie" that I've really enjoyed was "Risen."  Let me be brutally honest.   Every single person I've talked to between the ages of 14-25 said while movies like "God's Not Dead" had good content, they were kind of dumb/cheesy. The biggest movie-going population is my peers, in order to get higher ticket sales and reach wider audiences, filmmakers should make movies directed at us--and not in a cheesy, condescending fashion.   Disagree? Well Phil Vischer wrote in his autobiography , "Me, Myself, and Bob," that what put Veggies Tales on the map was not the kids but the teens who were working at the Lifeway stores.  Equally full of nerdy reference to "Jurassic Park" and Monty Python as well as valuable lessons, teens thought they were cool.  Even to this day, friends and I shamelessly quote Bob and Larry.  There is no lack of cool sci-fi and fantasy epics where Christian themes are present, (take Stephen Lawhead's books).  If you want to make good movie that reach a big audience, then make "cool movies" with good plots that are not riddled with cliches. but still have those "Sunday morning values, and Saturday morning fun."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bravo! I second this whole-heartedly. Veggie Tales for teenagers included.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have many thoughts on this topic. My wife and I are "movie people". I have the Flixster app, the plugged in app, and box office mojo. I check all of these regularly during the week. I know what's coming out this week, next week and next month. I don't see a movie without checking the plugged in rating. I have also donated to plugged in because I know it takes money to keep doing Kingdom things. I certainly want movies like "Gavin Stone" to continue to get made. Here is the number one problem. Christian people don't know about Christian movies. My wife and I are early 40's. Most of our friends are in their 30's and 40's. They are mostly all Christian people too. I've found that When I mention "God's Not Dead" or "Heaven is for Real", obviously they have an idea that those are Christian movies. But I can send an email to 35 people right now about "The Shack" coming out on March 3rd, and most of those people would have to research what that's about. The best thing that producers, filmmakers, directors could do is try to get the word out to big churches across the country before the movie comes out. We, Christian people, have to support these movies. We have to. My wife and I couldn't make it to "Moms' Night Out", but I went online and bought five tickets anyway. I consider that as a seed that has to be sown. I could go on and on because this is such an important topic. God bless 
Jessica Crawford More than 1 year ago
I think acting! That's huge for me. But also "faith" based films tend to all be same. They also have a ton of cliche terms that Christians don't really use much any more. I think that's why God's not Dead (both 1 and 2) and War Room did so well. 1. Great acting 2. They were relatable 3. They started revivals 
Honestly when it's something that we can all relate to they tend to do better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To be honest my husband and I just don't go to movies.  Cost and time are two factors, plus he isn't really a movie person so he doesn't enjoy it.  I would have liked to support such films but usually unless you can go opening night it is gone which is unfortunate.  Why would you release a movie Inauguration weekend?  If we do go to a movie it is usually a kids movie now that our son is old enough to sit and enjoy, but even that was two years the last time we were actually in a theater. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My thoughts: inconvenient locations of film showing and most of the time it is only by word of mouth I hear of a Christian movie. So lack of advertising or wrong advertising. But let me add what my son said to me after watching several Christian movies I had given them for Christmas. The endings are so predictable. He called the endings half way through the movie and from there on lost interest. Hope that helps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to see this film with my wife and teenage son. Only one theatre within 40 miles of us screened it. The show times were Noon on Sunday, which we can't make due to church responsibilities and drive time. Noon on Monday and Tuesday, school and work days. That was it.

Pretty inconvenient, I would say. Probably on purpose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The problem with most Christian films is that not all theaters will carry it.  Where I live in the Houston area there are easily 200+ movie theaters, but a Christian film may only be available at a handful of those.  That is sad.  On another note, if you are making Christian films to make money, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.  If you spend all you have (money, time and talent) and one person comes to Christ through it, then you should feel accomplished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't think they are making the movies to make money, BUT it takes money to continue doing the Lord's work on this Earth. And furthermore, these "movie people" that give Christian filmmakers the resources only respond to profits. If the movies aren't making them profits, they will not keep backing them. 
Elisa Kim More than 1 year ago
I would say that it will take time for the Christian film industry as a whole to grow and for more of the best movies to come through.

Also, we should not remember, that even in the secular one, they have blockbusters and bombs.

So, not all Christian movies will be successful.

As well, not all of them are bombs.

Perspective check, this world will not embrace Christian films and comparing them performance wise to secular films is unrealistic.

Also, agree very much with what Elizabeth Wartnik wrote.

Her points are really getting to the heart of it, more than any other comments about bigger budget or the general stereotypes against the less successful Christian films.
Elizabeth Wartnik More than 1 year ago
Here are three other reasons why faith-based films aren't succeeding.  Sorry it's long, but I may or may not have thought this over for several years.
1.  I have noticed that the most meaningful films are the ones that came not from hard work and big dreamers, but from the inspiration of God.  God gave C.S. Lewis dreams of Aslan before Narnia existed.  He gave him the story, and Lewis simply wrote it down.  I sense the inspiration of God in films such as Amazing Grace, Chariots of Fire, The Prince of Egypt, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and The Miracle Maker, and these films weren't even made by believers.  Though the "odds" were not in the filmmakers' favor for success, God opened doors.  I also notice that films by the Kendrick brothers are so successful because they listened for the Lord for inspiration.  These films are by no means of the highest quality, but they serve their purpose.  They have impacted and blessed many.  Maybe most Christian filmmakers are simply not waiting for the Lord to give them the right message/story to convey.
2.  Is the audience's intellect being taken for granted?  Yes, putting together a story is hard work, but people want to think.  They want to leave the theater having grown in some way.  I know I do, and I have never felt like I have grown in my faith by watching a Hallmark-like faith-based film.  There are other elements to consider in making a film, because a film is not just a way to package a message.  It is art.  Art is allowed to be complex; it's allowed to pack in some "literary" elements, such as allegory and symbolism.  These elements can manifest in the plot, props, setting, characters, dialogue, and even costumes.  Want to reach an entirely new type of audience, as well as the regulars?  Add some brain-stimulating symbolism and allegory, With Subtlety.  Also, witnessing character growth is among the main reasons why I enjoy certain films.  Many others feel the same, I'm sure, and it would be wonderful to see this in Christian films to a greater extent.
3.  This is my most important point:  I have seen firsthand that biblical films aren't doing as well as they used to, and here's why.  We are trying to portray God by our own terms.  The Prince of Egypt was a great film, not because it was biblically accurate (because it wasn't), but because God's nature was depicted in His own terms.  The same goes for The Miracle Maker and The Passion of The Christ (and Amazing Grace, and The Second Chance, and Chariots of Fire, and The Chronicles).  I still watch The Passion every Good Friday because I learn through it that God is a God who is willing to give up everything, including His blood, to make me His own.  There was no extra sugar connected to Him (Sorry, but Son of God, and the Jesus in Ben Hur don't qualify as legit to me.  They were too sugary.  They weren't real.)  I want to see God portrayed according to what He really is, not our version of what we want Him to be.  Jesus isn't just kind, he's also mighty, and scandalous, and beyond conception, yet sovereign and loving.  
Well, that's the end of my essay.    
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"God gave C.S. Lewis dreams of Aslan before Narnia existed.  He gave him the story, and Lewis simply wrote it down."

With respect, that is far too simplistic a view. Lewis was a brilliant and gifted man who put years of hard work into learning to be a good writer. Certainly the source of his gifts was God. But if you think a person can become a good storyteller without talent and without work . . . well, look at a lot of what passes for Christian stories nowadays. That's the lie that makes so many of them so bad. We wouldn't say that a person could become a good plumber without putting in the work to learn his or her craft. Why would we say it of a writer?
Elizabeth Wartnik More than 1 year ago
I apologize.  I didn't mean to negate the efforts of C.S. Lewis.  There were more elements than just Aslan that went into Narnia.  I based my statement on C.S. Lewis off of his own words, which I might have wrongly paraphrased.  I meant that God gave initial direction, and C.S. Lewis obeyed.  It takes effort to obey.  Also if you haven't, read the second point to my post.  It takes God-honoring work to involve literary devices and elements, and the film-producing field would do well to add more artists and thinkers to its mix, but the beginning of a work of art requires some divine inspiration, something beyond ourselves.    
C.S. Lewis was brilliant and well read, but take into account that I do believe that God can use anyone who is willing to work.
Jessica Crawford More than 1 year ago
That's awesome I love that it's so true which is why the Kendrick brothers movies do well and I truly belive that's why God's not Dead (1 and 2) and Do you Believe did so well
Anonymous 11 months ago
The comments above about marketing to teenagers was brilliant, and the comment about Veggie-Tales was an eye-opener for me, but thank you for mentioning C.S. Lewis. He was a brilliant Christian writer, the most well-read person I think I have ever known, (read his biography written by his friend and former student Jack Warren), as well as, a devout Catholic and world renowned defender of the faith.  In my opinion, the intent of any Christian book or movie ought to be, at the very least, just that -- to defend the faith.  (If your looking for a challenging read, read C. S. Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters.  It's considered his masterpiece.  Lewis inverts heaven and hell and instead of working for God, Wornwood, his nephew, is takinng instruction from his uncle about how to convert souls for Satan. His advice about how to appeal to humans and their vices is brilliant.)  Without a good command of literary elements, the writing is just junk. It's much easier to write Fifty Shades of Grey because it requires no talent. Chrisitan writers today lack those literary skills or talent and unfortunately fall back on cheesy Christian sentimentality, and they seriously underestimate their audiences who are very sophisticated Christians who know their Bible.  I wanted to add one more reason why Christian books and movies do not sell today because most writers do not have a solid foundation of the Christian faith, such as, C. S. Lewis.  Without that solid theological foundation and exceptional writing skills, as you pointed out, Lewis couldn't have written an allegorical children's tale that accurately portrays the greatest likeness of Christ ever written in the form of a personified character -- a lion. That is genius writing.  When the writing is that good and it stimulates the immagination of the reader, I believe it will sell.  I believe there is a market for well-written Christian books and movies.  We just need people who have the talent.  Thank you for writing this essay.  You inspire me to write that Christian book that I have always wanted to write.  I am an English teacher and your teachers would be proud of your essay.              
Surey Velez More than 1 year ago
I would say promotion dollars and timing. 
In this case, the movie was release on a weekend in which the world attention (thanks to the media mostly) was in the President inauguration and the controversies that followed thriughout that weekend and week. 
If it was heavily promoted to be release by April, Im sure the story will be different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my view the things things that stand out about The Passion and War Room: 1. The stories are realistic (most can relate, any story that focuses on Hollywood lifestyle or the "Coasts" will miss "flyover country" needs and values). 2. They meet a spiritual hunger without being preachy (feed a soul-need). 3. The actors and dialog are natural and not forced.
Amy Formella More than 1 year ago
I think a question that needs to be asked is why are Christian films created? Is it so we can see a regular movie without swearing, sex, and drugs? Is it to evangelize? Or to help nourish the faith of Christians?

If a Christian movie is about clean entertainment, then yeah most Christian movies are too cheesy or seem too scripted. Christian movies have a reputation of not having awesome acting or likely story lines (though this isn't always true, I think that's how they are perceived). These movies should \probably be more heavily advertised on T.V. and take more money to make, otherwise nobody will want to watch them or the movies that follow in this genre.

But for the Christian movies that are meant to help people grow in their faith - their is always going to be some kind of unrealisticness (not a word, I know) because believing in a Triune God who sent His son to die on a cross 2,000 years ago who then lived again is unrealistic to our human brains! It doesn't make sense by reason alone and requires faith. I think some Christian films are good at showing the struggle between being sinners and receiving grace and forgiveness (simul justus et peccator), but these are not necessarily films people always go to see at their overpriced movie theaters. These are Christian films, so maybe creating events at churches or other local venues would allow people to see them without paying a lot of money, it would bring the Christian communities together, and allow for discussion or community events as well. I'm not sure if this would do anything for making the film a lot more money, but it could help the movies impact more people while exposing more people to the movies who would then possibly by it on DVD.

Also word of mouth/personal recommendations is huge! If no one you know has seen the movie, then maybe it's not worth your time either. If your friends on Facebook are excited to see a movie or are raving about it, people are going to want to see it it.
Judy McLendon More than 1 year ago
In the case of the movie "Gavin" I honestly think it was for lack of advertising. If it hadn't come up in my feed on FB one day I'd have never even heard of it.
Rebekah Clemison More than 1 year ago
Don't forget 'Risen', with Joseph Fiennes that came out a year or two ago - that was an excellent film! Will buy the DVD for sure! 
Levi Jaeger More than 1 year ago
YES!!! It's like the only "Christian film" I've enjoyed.  Ben Hur was cool too
Rebekah Clemison More than 1 year ago
When Passion came out, I was young and free, with the time and budget for movies (getting out with young kids is virtually impossible and I've accepted that in this season of life, going to the movies once a year will have to be enough. However, I think some reasons Passion was a hit was because many church leaders encouraged their churches to go as a church outing, and to take their non christian friends along. Because it was made by Mel Gibson, and was a Hollywood movie, we knew it would be good quality. It helped start great conversations and many recommended it to their friends. Many Christian movies are cheesy and hammy, but recently they've been getting better. Courageous was very good, in my opinion, with very little cheese. 
I would actually make an effort to go to see a christian movie if I knew when exactly it was on, had enough advanced warning, and if I'd had it recommend. I almost went to see Noah, but everyone and all the reviews said it wasn't Biblical at all. I'd love to see more Christian movies, but I often don't know about them until it's too late, so I recommend getting church leaders to promote and plan group visits to the cinema. That might help. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People are being very generous by saying the acting is mediocre (in most cases). The dialogue tends to be unrealistic and trite, the stories match the dialogue, the antagonists are weak, the protagonists are preachy, and the outcome seems to always be nicely tied off in a pretty, little bow with a church service and some Hillsong-type worship experience. The outreach fails because it's frustrating enough as Christians to sit through these films, let alone drag our friends who've never really encountered Jesus to sit with us and expect them to enjoy. 

The Passion was and is a piece of history that almost every person on earth has at least heard of and had some sort of interaction with. It was also a film of truly epic proportions that one would want to see on big screen as opposed to the comfort of one's home. Jesus fascinates people, regardless of their beliefs. 

We need to step up our game and turn out more "Book of Eli", "Narnia", "Hacksaw Ridge", and "Unbroken" sorts of films. Either create an alternate reality or paint the story of someone who has actually been truly persecuted on behalf of their faith (not just some college student in a "fight" with their professor or a couple struggling with marital problems... leave that for the Hallmark channel). And for Heaven's sake, don't label it a "faith-based-film" unless you severely want to limit your outreach. 
Levi Jaeger More than 1 year ago
Agreed.  Book of Eli and Lord of the Rings have done more for me than all the Kendrick bother films added up together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally. Christian messages matter more than explicit Bible-quotes etc. Though those are fine too, with a compelling enough story that they're actually relevant to (i.e. Hacksaw Ridge).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Peggy Carter

I agree with most of the comments...Christian movies are too repetitive and preachy, and honestly are like most secular movies with a little religion thrown in (the guy always gets the girl, they live happily ever after etc.) I still chuckle to think of Flywheel.
I think Beyond the Mask was a step in the right direction - we need Christian movies that aren't primarily about religion, but exciting adventures that will pull viewers in. 
We need Christian Pride and Prejudices, La La Lands, National Treasures, and the list goes on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I perceive most Christian films as heavy on a message and although I am a 55 year old female, I am not big on message films. I cry easily and I don't go to the movies to (knowingly) cry. Films with a more subtle message work with me like SIGNS. Perhaps not your standard Christian film, but it DOES HAVE a strong message (and it did make me cry). I have also enjoyed Facing the Giants and most of the films produced by the Kendricks.
I guess for me, although I consider myself to be an outspoken Christian, movies that basically only have their faith-based label as a reason for one to go see it, just don't offer enough - and if there's more to the movie, it needs to be strongly conveyed in the trailer.
Abby Hinkson More than 1 year ago
Say Goodnight Kevin can tell you exactly why. Go watch a few of his Movienight reviews on Youtube. The average Christian movie today has mediocre acting, mediocre dialogue, and a Christian persecution complex that overtakes any real storytelling.
Isaac Horvat More than 1 year ago
100% accurate. If I was making a Christian movie the first thing I'd do is hire Kevin as a consultant 
Brian Cutting More than 1 year ago
My family loved the Narnia movie and wish they would make some more of those with similar good quality.