Liberals mock it, mainstream media critics slam it, and jaded journalists sneer at it. But “Jesus Revolution” just keeps beating every benchmark.
With a few weeks running under its belt, the Lionsgate faith-based film just sprinted past $47 million in domestic box office, simultaneously out-grossing the combined total of four of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees.
Directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle, the little flick with a $15 million budget has Hollywood execs green with envy over its ample profit margin.
In order to raise awareness and interest in the film prior to its release, the PR team scheduled lots of church and university screenings. The strategy paid off big-time, especially at the movie’s debut where it was projected to bring in $7 million and instead more than doubled expectations with its $15.5 million take its first weekend.
“Jesus Revolution” tells the true story of the national spiritual awakening that occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It has officially become Lionsgate’s highest-grossing post-pandemic film since 2019.
As is the custom in the entertainment business, when a project experiences this type of success, opportunities tend to multiply for the lucky folks involved.
The filmmakers recently announced the release of another faith-based movie, which is set for later this year. The movie’s lead character is played by two-time Oscar-winner Hillary Swank.
Casting Swank in the starring role was quite a coup. Not only has the actress garnered two Academy Awards for Best Actress, Time once named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
After winning her second Oscar, Swank famously said, “I don’t know what I did in this life to deserve this. I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.”
The upcoming movie, titled “Ordinary Angels,” tells the real-life story of a struggling Kentucky hairdresser, who helps rally a community to come to the aid of a widowed father to help save the life of his gravely ill little girl.
“I was drawn to this beautiful true story because it’s such a powerful reminder that angels reside everywhere among us. And that faith, hope, grit, and positivity are all powerful fuel for miracles,” Swank said in a statement.
The backdrop for the hairdresser’s heroism is a region that has been devastated by an immense snowstorm, which occurs during the record cold wave of 1994. The father is pursuing a life-giving liver transplant for his daughter.
“Ordinary Angels” has a lot of connections to “Jesus Revolution.” The film is directed by one of “Jesus Revolution’’’s screenwriters, Jon Gunn. It is co-written by “Jesus Revolution” director Jon Erwin. And it will be released by the same company that brought the public “Jesus Revolution,” Lionsgate.
“Ordinary Angels” also features Nancy Travis of “Last Man Standing.” And Oscar nominated actress Meg Tilly of “Agnes of God” and “The Big Chill” fame has a co-writing credit for the screenplay.
Meanwhile Kelsey Grammer, the star of “Jesus Revolution,” and Jonathan Roumie, the co-star of the film, have new projects in the offing.
Grammer’s career has been seriously elevated, due to his brilliant portrayal of Pastor Chuck Smith as the legendary evangelist who pilots the Christian revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The signature hit sitcom that established Grammer’s stardom, “Frasier,” has been rebooted by Paramount+. Grammer’s character, Dr. Frasier Crane, is an on-the-air psychologist, who comes back to Boston and now has to deal with unexpected life challenges. The “Frasier” reboot boasts a fresh cast.
After plenty of internet speculation by fans of the series, a few weeks ago the reboot was confirmed.
The original co-stars, which include David Hyde Pierce (Niles), Jane Leeves (Daphne), and Peri Gilpin (Roz), are not counted among the cast of the reboot. In fact, the only returning original cast member is Grammer himself.
The new series will feature Jack Cutmore-Scott as Frasier’s son Freddy Crane, who is expected to bring in elements of the beloved Frasier dad character Marty Crane, a role that was portrayed by John Mahoney, who passed away in 2019.
Unfortunately, no release date has yet been set for the “Frasier” reboot, but it is likely that the series premiere will be slated for late 2023 on Paramount+.
Nothing but good things also seem to be on the horizon for Grammer’s co-star Roumie, who has become a favorite faith-based actor.
Not only is he fresh on the heels of his success in “Jesus Revolution,” he is the star of the largest fan-supported entertainment project of all time, “The Chosen,” a dramatic streaming series about the life of Jesus Christ (portrayed by Roumie).
The powerful United Talent Agency (UTA) took note of Roumie and signed the faith-based phenom to a multi-year deal.