Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?

Posted on August 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm

The end of August is traditionally one of the year’s low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse “Straight Outta Compton” lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen Wilson/Pierce Brosnan action film “No Escape” and the Zac Efron EDM DJ movie, “We Are Your Friends.” But the people who predict box office returns for a living were surprised that a small faith-based film was #2, ahead of both studio films, with a healthy $11 million. The more important number was per-theater, where it made more than double what “Straight Outta Compton” took in. The numbers guys always underestimate faith-based films, but the rest of us were not surprised. “The War Room” was made by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, whose films like “Fireproof,” “Mom’s Night Out,” and “Facing the Giants” have not just reached audiences — they have reached audiences too often overlooked by Hollywood, and, as they have shown, audiences looking for faith-based entertainment. It is especially good to see a primarily African-American cast, as well. The Kendricks make movies that show the role of faith in complicated, sometimes painful lives. Their films do not promise to fix everything or everyone, but their stories show how faith can help, and clearly, that is a story more welcome than another shoot ’em up or coming of age story.

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