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Top Faith-Based Blockbuster Movie Headed to Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
In this photo provided by courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films, Karen Abercrombie, (left), as Miss Clara celebrates as Priscilla Shirer as Elizabeth Jordan shares how God answered a specific prayer in a scene from the film, War Room.

War Room, the surprise success and currently number-one movie in America, is headed to Jamaican theatres on September 30, Palace Amusement revealed in an e-blast recently.

Palace Amusement, who, before the e-blast, did not have the movie tabled in their upcoming listings as an entry, received a number of enquiries for the hit from faith-based moviegoers, as the company engaged their international distributor about the possibility of showing the film on the island.

"At first, the film was not available to us. We made the necessary enquiries; finally, we were able to obtain the rights to distribute it," said Melanie Graham, marketing manager at Palace Amusement.

The film, a Christian family drama about marriage and the power of prayer, has proved to be miraculous, as it overtook the urban hit, Straight Outta Compton, over the recent American Labor Day weekend. Previously, in its opening weekend on August 28, it shot to the second spot with a US$11-million gross, much to the surprise of movie critics.

Faith-based film success should not come as a surprise, however. Even Hollywood has the trend of turning to the Bible for superhero support. However, unlike other Hollywood-made Bible films that do not have the commercial and supporter success production companies desire, without the controversy of course, War Room does. The trick is to find the right message to reach the audience and, apparently, the right producer.

The film, directed by brother duo Alex and Stephen Kendrick, has found the right mix of faith, entertainment and call to action that resonates with a faith-based audience.

"That's just not supposed to happen," said Rich Peluso, senior vice-president of Sony's AFFIRM Films, which produced War Room with Provident Films. "I could certainly fudge it and tell you how smart we are and how we predicted this but no, everybody is surprised."

This is the latest success from the Kendricks, Christian film-makers, whose 2008 film, Fireproof, earned over US$33 million on a US$500,000 budget, and 2011's Courageous, which took in US$34.5 million on a US$2 million budget. War Room is already well on its way to surpassing both.

As of Tuesday, September 8, War Room, which cost US$3.5 million to produce, had earned US$28.7 million.

Churches and youth groups are encouraged to watch the film to get a deeper appreciation on the power of prayer and how it can turn any situation around.