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Box office success propels “Jesus Revolution” movie into international markets

After exceeding box office expectations in the United States, the “Jesus Revolution” movie now is being shown internationally.

Codirector John Erwin says that the hit movie has been released in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand and is launching June 23 in the United Kingdom, followed by Latin America. The international market opened up, he said, because of its domestic success. The film grossed more than $52 million domestically and remained in the Top 10 for five weeks.

“Entertainment is America’s second-largest export behind agriculture,” he said. “So when you make something popular in the U.S. and when an audience really champions it, they send it around the world. A lot of Christians might not realize that as we support a film here, it enables a global release.”

READ: More than 4,000 baptized at site of Jesus Revolution

Faith-based movies can be a powerful vehicle for spreading the gospel, Erwin said

“A lot of people ask, `are we just preaching to the choir?’” he said. “We found it’s actually the choir that launches the product. The more the faith audience champions something, whether it’s our movie or `The Chosen,’ they send it out. So really, if a big movie becomes successful and you saw it in America, 10 other people are going to see it around the world because of you.”

Jesus Revolution” tells the story of a hippie-led revival in that launched in California and spread nationwide.

“The whole reason we made the movie was if God did it before it, God can do it again,” Erwin said. “The world needs a Jesus revolution, perhaps now more than any other time in my lifetime.”

It stars Jonathan Roumie (“The Chosen”) as Lonnie Frisbee, Kelsey Grammer (“Cheers,” “Frasier”) as Chuck Smith, Joel Courtney as Greg Laurie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“Father of the Bride”) as Laurie’s mother and Anna Grace Barlow as Laurie’s girlfriend and future wife Cathe. Brent McCorkle codirected it alongside Erwin.

Across the United Kingdom prior to the movie’s release, Christian organizations and churches have informed their members and organized group outings.

The group KOVA says it wants to promote the film. “In America, Jesus Revolution doubled box office estimates – let’s show UK and Irish cinemas that the church is up for the challenge!” it said on its website.

“We are passionate about meaningful stories provoking meaningful conversations, and we believe that the key message of this film, that church is a place where everyone is welcome, is a great place to start! CPO cares about providing churches with high-quality resources to serve them in their ministries, and they love that this historical film speaks to us in our lives today,” it states.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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