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Classic Religious Themed Box Office Hits: 5 Films That Made the Most Money

Image: Classic Religious Themed Box Office Hits: 5 Films That Made the Most Money
The Ten Commandments, 1956. (imdb.com)

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 01:29 PM

Religion isn’t just contained to the church – the subject has also been the storyline for a handful of classic religious themed movies on the big screen. Box Office Mojo, an Internet Movie Database company, rates movies based upon their adjusted revenues to reflect today’s rate of inflation. Here are the top five classic religious themed movies:

1. “The Ten Commandments” (1956)

Based on the Holy Scriptures, the film, which starred Charlton Heston as Moses, brought in more than $65 million in box office revenues the year of its release. According to Box Office Mojo, which ranks movies by revenues and adjusts them for the rate of inflation, “The Ten Commandments” adjusted revenues are more than $1 billion today.

The film not only brought in big money, but also garnered several awards, including an Oscar for special effects and a National Board of Review Award.

Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum reviewed the film, calling it an “extravagant blockbuster full of the absurdities and vulgarities one expects, but it isn’t boring for a minute.”

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2. “Ben Hur” (1959)

Also starring Charlton Heston, "Ben Hur" was the first film to win 11 Oscars. The biblical tale, subtitled “A Tale of Christ,” is a remake of the film from the silent film era. Heston was chosen to appear in the film based on his performance in “The Ten Commandments.”

According to American Movie Classics, “Ben Hur” was one of the most expensive movies made in its time. Though the film carried a hefty price tag – $15 million – the investment paid off at the box office.

“Ben Hur” brought in $74 million at the box office in 1959, the equivalent of $813 million today, according to Box Office Mojo. The film ranks No. 13 on the list of all films in all genres in regards to box office revenues, and is considered one of the most honored films of all time.

3. “The Robe” (1953)

The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture and two Oscars for art decoration and costume design. The story tells of Marcellus Gallio (Richard Burton), a Roman tribune sent to Palestine to oversee the crucifixion of Christ. Gallio wins Christ's robe in a dice game, not realizing the significance the robe will have to him.

The film ranks No. 45 on the list of all films in all genres, with box office revenues of $36 million at release – which equates to more than $543 million today with inflation.

4. “The Bells of St. Mary’s” (1945)

The film which depicts an easy-going priest (Bing Crosby) at odds with Mother Superior, won an Oscar for Best Sound Recording and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress (Ingrid Bergman). The film was also nominated for seven other Academy Awards. It was the first sequel to be nominated for Best Picture.

At the box office, “The Bells of St. Mary’s” brought in more than $21 million, which equates to $520 million today and places the film at a rank of No. 51 all time in regard to revenue at the box office.

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5. “The King of Kings” (1961)

The film depicts the life of Jesus Christ. According to Nash information Services, the film brought in $14 million in box office revenues.

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Religion has been the storyline for a handful of movies on the big screen. Box Office Mojo rates films based upon their adjusted revenues to reflect today’s rate of inflation. Here are the top five classic religious themed movies.
classic, religious themed, box office, movies, films, hollywood
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2015-29-24
Friday, 24 Apr 2015 01:29 PM
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