For two nights last week, the No. 1 movie in America was a Christmas film about the birth of Jesus.
Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers surprised Hollywood observers by grabbing the No. 1 spot at the box office the first two nights of its release, grossing $2.5 million Wednesday and $2.1 million Thursday, more than doubling the respective grosses of second-place House of Gucci and third-place Encanto.
It finished No. 4 for the weekend with an estimated gross of $4.1 million even though it played at only 1,700 theaters – less than half of the theater count for Encanto (3,980 theaters), which won the weekend with a $12.7 million gross.
The film includes a new episode of The Chosen and musical performances by faith-based artists such as Phil Wickham, For King and Country, Maverick City Music, Cain, Brandon Lake, Jordan Feliz, We the Kingdom and Matt Maher. The Chosen is a popular streaming series about Jesus and his disciples.
The film is the top-grossing and most-attended film in the history of Fathom Events, its distributor.
Its impressive opening caught the attention of Hollywood media. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film “did record business.”
“Fathom’s Crowd-Funded ‘Christmas With The Chosen’ Breaks A Record,” read the headline at Deadline.com.
“Getting a big shout for the weekend is Fathom Events’ faith-based Christmas With the Chosen, in 1,642 theaters and 194 markets, which rivals are raising their eyebrows at,” a Deadline article read.
Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers is scheduled to play in theaters through Dec. 10.
“We don’t do this for the numbers, but these records indicate people will indeed go to the theater for a project they’re passionate about,” said Dallas Jenkins, the creator, writer and director of The Chosen. “The enthusiastic comments from new and old fans give us confidence to do this again.”
Find theaters at FathomEvents.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.