Flurry of faith-based films hitting SA big screen

A screenshot from the official trailer of  "Son of God" which opens in South Africa next week.
A screenshot from the official trailer of “Son of God” which opens in South Africa next week.

South African movie goers are in for a rare flurry of major, faith-based feature films. Darren Aronofsky’s controversial ‘Noah’ opened on April 4. Next in line, launching on April 17, is ‘Son of God’ produced by “Touched by an Angel’s” Roma Downey and mega-hit TV producer Mark Burnett of “Survivor” fame. “Heaven is for Real”, based on a little boy’s astounding testimony of his trip to heaven and back opens on May 9.

Describing 2014 as a “banner year” for faith-based films, Paul Lauer, founder and CEO of Motive Entertainment, the leading US film marketing firm for reaching Christian audiences, believes this year’s faith-based movies, which are doing exceptionally well in the box office, will have a profound influence on Hollywood, reports the Daily Beast.

“As each of these films achieves a measure of success I think more and more filmmakers and studios and distributors and financiers and actors and directors and everybody will say ‘this could be a rewarding area to get into’,” Lauer says.

He speculates that the films’ success could have implications in Hollywood beyond the box office. “I think the other thing that will happen [is] there are people of faith all throughout Hollywood who already work in studios as directors and producers and writers and many of them are excited about working on movies like this now that it’s OK to do so,” he said. “It’s almost like we’re having a coming out of the closet for people of faith in the community. And as that happens we’ll get [an] even more organic growth of faith-based and inspirational movies coming from people that are already embedded in the system, like Mark and Roma.”

Noah is currently the second biggest earning movie in the US in April, raking in more than $72 million in two weeks, according to the International Business Times. A surprising success in the top 5 box office performers for April is the low budget “God’s Note Dead” which is said to have garnered more than $32 in earnings in the first week of April. It is not clear whether this film about a Christian student, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), who is challenged by his smug philosphy professor to prove the existence of God, will reach SA.

The epic, standalone, “Son of God” movie grew out of the History Channel’s miniseries, “The Bible,” 2013’s highest-rated cable show in the US. It has been screened in 3 000 plus theatres all over the US. It is the first motion picture about Jesus’ life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago.

Heaven Is for Real releases in the US on April 16 and is based on the 2010 bestseller book of the same name about the true story of Colton Burpo, who visited heaven after slipping from consciousness during emergency surgery. The book is experiencing a revival of sorts, having returned to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times Paperback Nonfiction list, reports Charisma News.

Another big Christian-themed movie release in the pipeline for 2014 is Ridley Scott’s “Exodus:Gods and Kings” which is an account of Moses’ hand in leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt.

View Son of God trailer:


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  2. Clayton Caroline

    Hollywood makes movies to make money not to win souls.If they make movies about Islam would everyone become Muslim? Harry Potter,Twilight,superheros,the Bible what’s the difference? It’s all fiction.

  3. May God have mercy on your wretched soul Clayton Caroline, for saying that the Bible is fiction! It won’t so fictitious one day when you die and stand in judgement!

  4. From what we’ve seen so far, there is only one problem with the so called ‘Faith-based’ films….. they are NOT Biblical!!
    And indeed, how can they be when they are produced for, and by, godless society?
    “Noah” Promotes The Luciferian Gnostic belief that the Creator of the World is evil.

  5. Pastor Harry heydon

    Noah for one is NOT a Christian movie but a complete abomination of what actualy happened. Designed to mislead people and negate Gods Word. Do not support it with your money

  6. I think the Christian community has often withdrawn into its own subculture and all we can do is point fingers and criticize. John Stott used to always say “if the meat goes rotten, is it the meat’s fault or the salt’s fault?” We are supposed to be the salt of the earth, so when society goes rotten maybe we should be asking ourselves some hard questions rather than criticizing.
    If we speak about “Christian Media”, it is often considered so weak and cannot hold its own when it comes to accepted media standards…….and we wonder why no one takes us as Christians seriously?

  7. Clayton Caroline

    Congrats Graham for actually making a rational response! PS censorship is a tool of tyrants.

  8. Blessings all. We need discernment in EVERY aspect of life, every second of the day because we know there is one who is like a roaring lion waiting to devour. But in all our ways, we need to show love and pray constantly remembering that Jesus is the vine; we are merely the branches. A branch that is cut off or broken from the vine whithers and dies.