Son of God producers are hoping their wide-release Christian film sends a message to folks in Hollywood.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the cinematic telling of Jesus' life is presently expected to earn a considerable amount of money during its first three days in theaters. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey think this will ultimately prove faith-based motion pictures have a very enthusiastic and loyal following.
Breitbart reports that Son of God was originally on-track to make around $13 million on opening weekend. However, the folks over at Major Theater Chain (MTC) believe the film could make around $22.5 million. This will put it above such mainstream star-driven efforts as the RoboCop remake and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, to name a few.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, churches and religious organizations have already purchased around 500,000 Son of God tickets ahead of the film's release. In fact, Liberty University bought out an entire Regal theater to show the movie on no less than 14 screens. This could add up to a lot of money for 20th Century Fox and prove that Christian films are commercially viable.
"We think it's an extraordinary product and for Christianity we think it's an historic moment. This is the first movie about the life of Jesus in 50 years. It would be beneficial to people all across the country to see this on the big screen," Liberty University's Johnnie Moore recently explained to THR.
Son of God is mostly comprised of footage from Downey and Burnett's 2013 miniseries The Bible. In order to craft a full-length motion picture, the producers brought back the cast to shoot additional scenes. Although he appeared in the miniseries, Downey said they removed Satan from the big-screen version of the story.
"Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled [President Obama], and suddenly the media went nuts. The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead," the producer recently explained.
She added, "I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who ['Son of God'], so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor."
Downey and Burnett also brought back Diogo Morgado to portray Jesus in Son of God. However, the actor told Today that he had a few reservations about tackling the role when he was first approached for The Bible.
"I freaked out! I was in shock; I was in panic because I knew the responsibility. I mean, I went to Jerusalem and while I was there, I felt on my own the importance of the story. [It's] so alive," he explained.
Do you think Son of God could surprise the folks in Hollywood this weekend?