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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Christmas Special from "The Chosen" Thumps Box Office Competition

This limited-engagement release more than doubles the revenue of the second-place movie on opening night.

Raj Bond and Sara Anne play Joseph and Mary in "Christmas with The Chosen:  The Messengers."
Raj Bond and Sara Anne play Joseph and Mary in "Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers." Image: "The Chosen"/Fathom Events.

That Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers would be a financial success was already clear, as we reported last month when its theatrical release was extended from just two days to 10 after ticket sales shattered records for distributor Fathom Events by bringing in $1.5 million in just 12 hours. We didn't know then, however, that it would dominate at the box office against secular Hollywood fare.


The opening-night box office performance of "The Chosen" Christmas special led to a first-place finish.
The opening-night box office performance of "The Chosen" Christmas special led to a first-place finish. Image: "The Chosen."

The December 1st opening night numbers are now in and it is an absolute drubbing. As you can see in the graphic, this Christmas special from The Chosen - the hit streaming series about the life of Christ - blew the competition away. It brought in $2.65 million in revenue, which is twice as much as the second-place film - something called House of Gucci - and is also more than that picture and the third-place finisher generated together.


As if that weren't enough, Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers did so while playing in only 1,700 theaters, which is less than half of each of the other films in the top four, all of which are backed by major Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures. In a word, that does not happen virtually ever.


Of course, The Chosen is a faith-based project that God has blessed abundantly from the very beginning. The streaming series is the all-time crowdfunding leader among media projects, it has been viewed more than 300 million times after just two seasons and it has thus far raised some $16 million for season three through a mix of merchandise sales and a pay-it-forward program, so it is no stranger to success on a grand scale.


The Christmas special's ten-day total box office revenue so far stands at $8 million from 640,000 tickets already sold, according to a press release from Fathom Events, which is a joint venture between America's three largest movie theater chains: AMC, Regal and Cinemark. Company CEO Ray Nutt says he knew they "had something special" with this production and is "grateful to the passionate fans of The Chosen" for helping the film "claim the #1 spot as Fathom's best-selling event, ever!"


Creator and director of The Chosen Dallas Jenkins is obviously pleased with the results, saying "these records indicate people will indeed go to the theater for a project they're passionate about." The devout Believer adds that while they didn't "do this for the numbers," the successful performance could well establish a precedent for the future.

"The enthusiastic comments from new and old fans give us confidence to do this again."

Christian Film Blog will certainly keep an eye on that and bring you updates as warranted. In the meantime, Christmas with The Chosen: The Messengers is in theaters through December 10th and you can get tickets at this link to Fathom Events' website. The production features a new episode of the show that tells the Nativity story through the eyes of Mary and Joseph; that is followed by 13 top Christian musical acts, including For King & Country, Phil Wickham and Jordan Feliz, performing Christmas songs both old and new.



4 Comments


snakewisperer
Dec 06, 2021

The music was amazing, and the film was also good. My only wish would be that it would have had more of the story of the birth of Jesus. I felt there wasn’t enough of the story told, and (this may have been intentional) left me wanting to see more of the story.

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info
Dec 06, 2021
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A tough task, balancing the music and the movie. In favor of the music: it's much easier and cheaper to shoot than a film, you pick up cross-over audience with those big-name Christian musicians, and who doesn't love Christmas songs? On the downside: theater slots are typically 2-hours, so if you have 13 musical acts to feature, you don't leave much time for the movie. Thus, it was only an episode, not a full-length feature film, which it could/should have been.


Thomas Bonifield, Exec. Editor

"Christian Film Blog"

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Misty Polasik
Misty Polasik
Dec 03, 2021

Amazing! Is there a link to the opening day totals for the movies in this chart? The opening day totals are reportedly much higher, wanted to confirm. Thank you!

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info
Dec 04, 2021
Replying to

Those figures in the chart come from "The Chosen," and when we wrote this article neither "The Numbers" nor "Box Office Mojo" - the two main tracking outfits - had included this Christmas special in their box office lists for Wednesday, Dec. 1st. "Box Office Mojo" has subsequently added them - Domestic Box Office For Dec 1, 2021 - Box Office Mojo - though they assign a slightly smaller figure: $2.57 million. At any rate, it still walloped the competition, all of which have been in theaters for at least a week...Wednesday was opening day for only the Christmas special.


Thomas Bonifield, Executive Editor

"Christian Film Blog"

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