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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Christian Stars Lend Unprecedented Support to "Jesus Revolution"

The new movie from the Erwin Brothers is off to a great start at the box office and it has many leading lights in the faith-based entertainment community backing it.

Joel Courtney and Anna Grace Barlow appear in a scene from "Jesus Revolution."
Joel Courtney and Anna Grace Barlow appear in a scene from "Jesus Revolution." Image: Kingdom Story Company/Lionsgate.

That old adage about victory having a thousand fathers is certainly apropos in the case of Jesus Revolution from the brother team of Andrew and Jon Erwin. The Christian duo and their partners at Lionsgate came up with a solid script about the last major revival in America and spent good money on production: somewhere in the $10 - $15 million range would be our guess. That helped them pull together a strong cast that includes well-known actors like Kelsey Grammer, Joel Courtney and Jonathan Roumie.

They also splashed out nearly as much for marketing, according to one report we saw, meaning they have done all the things that every major Hollywood movie does to set itself up for success. It worked, too, because the film claimed third place at the box office on opening weekend, bringing in $15.8 million and earning top ratings from moviegoers.

There is one other arrow in their quiver, however, that the secular filmmakers do not have: significant support among major Christian entertainers unassociated with the movie. Christian Film Blog has been covering the faith-based film genre for more than five years and we have never seen such broad backing for a picture among Believers in the entertainment business, most of which played out on the pages of social media.

Dallas Jenkins (left) hosts a livestream about the movie with co-director Jon Erwin and actor Jonathan Roumie.
Dallas Jenkins (left) hosts a livestream about the movie with co-director Jon Erwin and actor Jonathan Roumie. Image: "Jesus Revolution"/from Facebook.

While not complete, this litany of participants will give you a sense of the breadth of the effort: actress Candace Cameron Bure, filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, creator/director of The Chosen Dallas Jenkins, actress Patricia Heaton, filmmaker/actress Kathie Lee Gifford, musical duo For King & Country, and actress Roma Downey among others. When put together, the group has millions and millions of followers.

We do not know if any of those Christian celebrities were compensated for their recommendations, though we doubt it since most on that list have either worked with or are friends of the Erwin Brothers. We do know that it must have had an impact, because large numbers of their fans liked and commented on the relevant posts about Jesus Revolution.

The missive from Downey, former star of Touched by an Angel, praised this production as a "great movie" that is "beautifully written, directed and acted." She also called on her 174,000 Instagram followers to go see it, and in the process, seemed to sum up the feeling among many in the community of Believing entertainers about the stakes.

"It's important we show up when a great movie like this is made. We will only get more movies like this if we - the audience - show up...So, grab a friend or two and go see Jesus Revolution this weekend."

There is no way, of course, to quantify the impact of such recommendations on the impressive box office haul of the movie - the fourth best opening of this year so far - which surprised many in the film industry. Downey, however, is absolutely right when she says that we must support faith-based movies if we want to have access to more of them. So, echoing her, if you have not yet seen Jesus Revolution, make it a point to catch it this week and let your voice be heard.


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