The phenomenal, crowd-funded story of Jesus and his apostles released a theatrical version of its latest episode about the birth of Jesus on December 1. It was initially only slated for a limited release and a one week run but the movie’s miraculous performance has expanded the release and you can find it now in a theater near you. Ticket sales distributor Fandango has it playing through December 13, 2021.
This Christian film is directed and produced by Dallas Jenkins (son of co-writer Jerry B. Jenkins of the Left Behind book series) and today surpassed both Disney’s animated film Encanto and MGM’s House of Gucci in daily receipts. The genius of this low budget series is the flawed human quality of the characters. They’re drawn in Everyman style and that’s what brings these ancient stories to life.
So far the movie has grossed more than 9 million in its 7 day run – easily defeating Oscar contenders Spencer (director Pablo Larrain’s latest) and Belfast (director Kenneth Branagh’s period film set in Northern Ireland in the 1960s). Interestingly enough, there’s not much in the news about it. You can bet though that the studios have taken notice – even if they keep it to themselves. While the movie is all about Jesus’ birth, from a business perspective it’s a modern day David and Goliath story.
Up until now you could only see The Chosen episodes on a special app for smart phones. The film tells the story of the birth of the messiah from the point-of-view of Joseph and Mary. It, like the rest of the series, was at least partly shot at Motion Picture Studio South near Goshen, Utah. This production facility is owned by the Mormon church and is a fully functioning film set of the town of Jerusalem.
In 2021 The Chosen in partnership with Angel Studios shot some footage in Weatherford, Texas and according to Executive Producer Derral Eves, the company has acquired a five year lease on land in Midlothian for upcoming episodes and scenes that do not take place in Jerusalem or Bethlehem. They plan on creating 7 seasons of content for this crowd-funded project.