Easter may have come and gone but its spirit only seems to be rising and
expanding. The fervor is especially evident in the string of faith-based films
released in recent years, steadily appealing to and supported by Christian
The latest of these is “Miracles From Heaven” – a new release from Sony
which is already making headlines in the seemingly secular world of Hollywood,
posting a solid $15 million opening (Howard, 2016).
Prior to “Miracles From Heaven,” Sony has released two other religious-themed
films that have already proven to be huge success - “Heaven Is for Real” ($91
million gross) and “War Room” ($67 million) (ibid.).
In the last few years, these religious-themed movies appear to be gaining a
more solid power in stature as the sustaining audiences remain loyal to the starkly different genre.
New Hollywood Trend
The new box-office trend seems
unprecedented but not unfounded.
There have been a plethora of faith-based
films in the last 30-plus years, but only in the last two years have they been more
consistently and notably booming (Howard, 2016).
This shift is indicative of the new
movement in the film-industry trying to match the new found audience’s
quest for something more profound and spiritually illuminating.
Fueled by Mel Gibson’s outlier “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004,
Hollywood is progressively reaching out to the Christian audiences who have long
been regarded as somewhat marginal in the commercial
The current revival of faith-based films may seem a bit unconventional but
is evidently serving as a medium through which people are seeking greater meaning
and clarity amidst the proliferating confusion and chaos in today's world.
The new mainstream is also symbolic of the present time’s continual struggle
with the ever so rampant violence, rage, and mayhem that are growing every day.
It almost seems natural for humanity to search for answers in the stories told, and there’s no place better than Hollywood to make it all happen.
Secular Becoming Spiritual
Hollywood is known to be secular by the nature of its business.
Cinematic history, however, indicates otherwise.
Hollywood has been making Christian-themed movies for decades now and mostly
done well with stories dotted with biblical tales at the box office
With the sharp surge in the number of faith-based releases punctuated by their
surprising out-performance at the box office in recent years, the divide between the secular and the spiritual may be narrowing.
And more and more, the secular part of our society seems to be merging
with the spiritual/religious sectors to be one in the same.
It may be that the gap between the two worlds is no longer
separating the humanity but rather bridging the diversity to make it more
Blankenship, B. March 5, 2016. Hollywood
Hallelujah: Faith-based films continue box office success. Retrieved from http://cjonline.com/life/arts-entertainment/2016-03-05/hollywood-hallelujah-faith-based-films-continue-box-office
Howard, A. March 21, 2016. ‘Miracles
from heaven’ becomes latest faith-based film to hit big. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/miracles-heaven-becomes-latest-faith-based-film-hit-big