January 11, 2014 at 9:36 am #130935
Pls help me with a segment I’m doing on CNN tomorrow (Sunday) at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. It’s about all of these religious films we have coming out this year — “Noah,” “Exodus,” “Heaven Is for Real,” “Mary, Mother of Christ.”
Yes, Passion of the Christ was a huge success, but wasn’t there a movie about the Virgin Mary or Mary Magdelene that bombed? What else? I want to create some context for the big year head for religious pix. Would luv your help! TXJanuary 11, 2014 at 9:40 am #130937
The Prince of Egypt by DreamWorks was a big success.January 11, 2014 at 10:19 am #130938
The Nativity Story with Keisha Castle-Hughes. Don’t know if it flopped though.January 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #130939
If they ask you the tradition of Biblical movies in cinema, you should mention Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Matthew. Unlike the Hollywood sword and sandals epics everyone knows (Ben Hur, Ten Commandments, etc.), this film is usually rated by directors and critics to be the greatest Biblical movie ever made. There are some truly striking scenes, executed by Pasolini in the neorealist style, which capture the supernatural of Jesus’ life and are astonishing.
Nominated for three Oscars in 1964. Also controversial for its strange undertones about Christ and his life. But it was this angle, that of a great filmmaker making the story his own, which makes this an extraordinary film.January 11, 2014 at 10:35 am #130940
The Nativity Story did bomb, actually.
Pasolini’s film is a masterpiece, but I don’t know if it was actually a “success” in the traditional sense. It is probably the best biblical film ever though.January 11, 2014 at 10:49 am #130941
The Passion of the Christ, maybe the most anti-Christian film ever made, which then became the source of some religious Americans becoming torture junkies (with political consequences) is by far the biggest religious themed film, at least without adjusting for inflation.
Cecil B. DeMille’s silent “The King of Kings” was a massive hit. His 1956 “10 Commandments” adjusted for inflation is #6 for all time (over $1 billion domestic) and “Ben Hur” #13, both much bigger successes.January 11, 2014 at 10:52 am #130942
One night with the King was about the story of Esther and it flopped at the box office and criticallyJanuary 11, 2014 at 11:02 am #130943
lol ‘Doubt’ is considered a religious themed film, but I have such doubt wheather or not it was a success. I mean it got 5 nomination, in which 4 for all of its actors and a screenplay nod, and I’m sure in an expanded field, it would have showed up in BP.January 11, 2014 at 11:03 am #130944
Agnes of God and Joan of Arc with Milla JovovichJanuary 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #130945
A couple of smaller/independent Christian movies in the past few years have done well when compared to their budget.
2006 – Facing the Giants. Budget – $100,000 (est.) Gross – $10million
2008 – Fireproof. Budget – $500,000 (est.), Gross – $33million (one of the top independent movies of that year)
2011 – Courageous. Budget – $2m, Gross – $34million
These were produced for and marketed to conservative/evangelical Christian audiences. If the content warrants it, the producers should market to that audience. They will support “family” and “Christian” entertainment.January 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm #130946
Some could argue The Shawshank Redemption has religious elements to it, and it didn’t do too well at the box office initially.
Philomena has some not-so-hidden religious subtexts in it, and it’s doing rather well.January 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #130947
I can name two horror films from 1999 that involve religion, and both star Gabriel Byrne: Stigmata and End of Days, both of which were successful (the latter more so worldwide).January 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm #130948
It depends on what you mean by succeeded and bombed. Because the Catholic Church praised the horror film “The Rite” and said it was a success, whilst the film itself was loathed by critics and hated by the majority of the non-militantly religious who watched it!January 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm #130949
John Huston directed “The Bible: In The Beginning…” (1966)January 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm #130950
$43,853,424 (USA) (15 July 2011)
Other top money makers:
The Passion of the Christ
Chronicles of Naria:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Naria:
The Chronicles of Nania:
The voyage of the Dawn Treader