The Chosen team have done it again, breaking new barriers with their movie, Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers which has broken box-office records in the US and made it possible to stream the film for free to a global audience.
The Christmas special, a musical which tells the Nativity story through the eyes of Mary and Joseph, accompanies The Chosen TV series, which is unique in the authentic way it depicts the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, showing Jesus living out his holy calling in everyday first-century Judea, Samaria, and the Galilee as a faithful Jewish man.
The series began as part of a viewer-supported, “pay It forward” campaign which broke all-time crowdfunding records and went on to gross $40 million (R644 million) that funded not only the first season but the second and third season (which is currently in production).
Speaking on Sunday night (US time) at the global launch of the free stream of the Christmas movie, Dallas Jenkins, the creator, writer and director of the series, said the original plan was to screen it for two nights only at 1 700 cinema theatres across the US.
But he said after so many records were shattered at its release, theatres approached The Chosen team and asked to extend the show to December 10 and to multiple screenings per day.
Later, theatres came back to them again and asked to extend the show further — some of them up to Christmas Eve and most of them for another five, seven or 10 days.
Christmas with the Chosen was the number-1 new movie release in the US during its two midweek opening nights and at the weekend it was in the top 5 and had the highest per-screen average — meaning the movie, which was in half the number of theatres of other contenders, sold the most tickets per theatre.
Speaking at the launch, Jenkins said the box office records were gratifying but they were never the aim of the production for which they had no made any predictions.
“It’s God’s job to feed the 5 000. We are just bringing our loaves and fish. And we are proud of this product; we believe that it honours God; we believe that it’s going to have impact for those who see it; and the rest doesn’t matter.”
User reviews on the IMDB website are mixed, with some giving the show 10/10 and others complaining that there was too much music — about two thirds of the production is made up of Christmas music. Musical performers include Phil Wickham, For King & Country, Brandon Lake, Maverick City Music, Cain, Matt Maher, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Jordan Feliz, We The Kingdom, The Bonner Family, Leanna Crawford, Dawson Hollow and the One Voice Children’s Choir.
Thanks to those who have paid it forward and attended theatre screenings Christmas with the Chosen and seasons 1 and 2 of The Chosen can be viewed for free on The Chosen app. The global live event of Christmas with the Chosen can also be viewed on YouTube.
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