Movie audiences for “Jesus Revolution” have multiplied like loaves and fishes, taking the faith-based film further than its producers could have asked or imagined.
The movie, which features “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer and “The Chosen” star Jonathan Roumie, tells the true story of how a young Greg Laurie — and thousands of others — came to salvation during the “Jesus Freak” hippie movement of the 1960s and ’70s.
It has surprised many — including its makers — by becoming Lionsgate’s highest-grossing film at the domestic box office since 2019, according to The Numbers.
As of Friday, “Jesus Revolution” had grossed $41.5 million.
Admittedly, that’s a far cry from 2019’s “John Wick: Chapter 3,” which raked in $327.8 million, or “Knives Out,” which grossed $312.9 million domestically. (The company’s top-grossing film ever was 2013’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at $864.9 million.)
But the movie business has changed considerably since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which left many theater chains on life support. Domestic box office totals plummeted from $11.2 billion in 2019 to less than $2 billion in 2020, according to The Numbers.
Since then, the industry has struggled to entice audiences back into the multiplex. There has been some improvement each year, but 2022 ended the year still 33 percent short of pre-pandemic levels with a total of $7.5 billion, according to Statista.
Producer Kevin Downes told Christian Headlines he was jubilant about the “faith audience” coming out in droves to see “Jesus Revolution.”
“The numbers are incredible, especially coming out of a pandemic,” he said.
Faith-focused moviegoers are “not going away,” Downes said.
“Jesus Revolution” finished No. 3 at the box office on its opening weekend, grossing $15.5 million. The studio had expected its debut to bring in “between $6 million and $7 million,” according to Box Office Pro.
It got an A+ rating from viewers polled by CinemaScore and earned a score of 99 from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Jesus Revolution (2023)” is great! Here is a 2-min. video clip from our student film shot in 1971: the real Chuck Smith and Pirate Cove Baptisms! See THREAD for the story…
#JesusRevolution #JesusRevolutionMovie pic.twitter.com/exAudPOdWP
— Bobby (@bobanderson77) March 8, 2023
Aside from the earthly treasures, the movie’s creators have expressed excitement over how it is impacting the faith of viewers.
Christian Film Blog reported that “Jesus Revolution” co-director Jon Erwin said he is “awestruck by how God is using it” to touch people, including many who have been baptized after seeing it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.