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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.

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