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Modern Religious Themed Box Office Hits Since 1980: 10 Films That Made Most Money

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 03:32 PM

The top 10 films that grossed the highest U.S. totals at the modern religious themed box office includes only one animated film in its ranks. The rest are either biblical epics, fantasies with religious undertones, or modern day faith stories.

Though many received negative critical reception, these films still drew both audiences and profit, as the grosses of these religious themed films ranged from $101 million to $60 million.

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Here 10 films that made the most money:

1. "The Prince of Egypt"

Grossing a national total of $101 million, "The Prince of Egypt" won an Oscar for Best Original Song. The 1998 animated film, produced by DreamWorks Animation, is based on the biblical story of Moses.

2. "Noah"

Based on the biblical story of Noah and the massive flood, the 2014 film was directed by Darren Aronofsky. The filmmaker's artistic interpretation of the biblical story sparked debate and controversy, reports USA Today, but the controversy wasn't enough to drive audiences away. "Noah" grossed a national total of $101 million, barely under that of "The Prince of Egypt."

3. "The Passion of The Christ"


Mel Gibson's biblical drama about the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus grossed $371 million domestically. Released on Ash Wednesday in 2004, the film holds the title of the highest-grossing R-rated movie in American history, according to Box Office Mojo.

4-6. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "Prince Caspian" and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"


Taking up the next three spots on the list of the highest-grossing religious themed box office hits are the three installments of "The Chronicles of Narnia" franchise, released in 2005, 2008, and 2010, respectively. Based on books by C.S. Lewis, the films follow the adventures of four siblings in the magical land of Narnia.

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "Prince Caspian" were directed by Andrew Adamson, and in the U.S., the films grossed $292 million and $142 million, respectively. Michael Apted directed "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," which grossed $104 million in the U.S. According to critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the films worsened as the franchise wore on, and their respective grosses support this claim.

7. "Heaven is For Real"

The 2014 drama "Heaven Is For Real," which grossed $91 million in the U.S., is about a young boy who claims to have experienced heaven during an emergency surgery. Directed by Randall Wilson, the film is based on a bestselling book of the same name. It was nominated for a People's Choice Award (Favorite Dramatic Movie) in 2015, according to IMDb.com.

8. "Exodus: Gods and Kings"


Ridley Scott's 2014 biblical drama grossed $65 million in the U.S. The film is loosely based on the biblical story of the Hebrews' exodus from Egypt. Rotten Tomatoes gave "Exodus: Gods and Kings" a score of 28 percent, claiming the film failed to live up to its biblical inspiration.

9. "God's Not Dead"

Grossing $61 million in the U.S., "God’s Not Dead" is the story of a Christian college student whose faith is challenged by a philosophy professor. While endorsed by many religious organizations, director Harold Cronk's movie received little critical acclaim. According to the A.V. Club, "God's Not Dead" failed to produce a coherent plot or argument.

10. "Son of God"

Directed by Christopher Spencer, "Son of God" grossed $60 million in the U.S. The 2014 film is a retelling of the life of Jesus, and is based on The History Channel's miniseries "The Bible." "Son of God" received mostly negative critical reception.

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The top 10 films that grossed the highest U.S. totals at the modern religious themed box office includes only one animated film in its ranks. The rest are either biblical epics, fantasies with religious undertones, or modern day faith stories.
modern religious themed box office, hits
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2015-32-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 03:32 PM
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