'Son of God' Earns $9.4 Million at Box Office

Saturday, 01 Mar 2014 08:25 PM

 

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"Son of God" has gotten off to a strong start at the box office, pulling in $9.4 million at the box office by Friday night — surging past "The Lego Movie" and nipping at the heels of the No. 1 earner, Liam Neeson's "Non-Stop," which netted $10 million.

Editor's Note : Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

"Son of God" dramatizes the life of Jesus from birth to death to resurrection. Fox released the film, which is a brainchild of reality TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey.

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The two films will square off against an extended and R-rated rerelease of "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and the third week of box office juggernaut "The Lego Movie."

Burnett said he isn't sure how big a box-office opening "Son of God" will have this weekend.

"This movie is going to be seen by a billion people over the next three or four years, so a big opening would be great, but this is very much a long-term proposition," Burnett said.

Neeson's "Non-Stop," should land with around $20 million to $25 million in its debut weekend, say the analysts.

But "Son of God," Burnett's first foray in feature films, is definitely a wild card.

"It feels like around $12 million, maybe $15 million," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution at Fox, which has "Son of God" in about 3,025 theaters nationwide. "But honestly, because of the faith-based element, we just don't know, so it wouldn't shock me if it did $25 million."

Burnett and Downey have skipped traditional marketing on their passion project, opting instead for a church-driven grassroots campaign designed to pack theaters.

It's working so far — "Son of God" has already run up $4 million in group and advance sales — and Colorado-based child sponsorship agency Compassion International alone has distributed more than 250,000 advance tickets.

"There's been nothing conventional about this," said Burnett, who with his Downey barnstormed his way through 40 U.S. cities over the past few months for church screenings of "Son of God."

Editor's Note : Health Benefits of Prayer Revealed!

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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