The faith-themed film “Overcomer” opened strong over the weekend, placing third at the box office and grossing over $8.2 million at over 1,700 theaters.
The drama is directed and produced by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Baptist pastors and filmmakers who produced such films as the No. 1 box office hit “War Room,” “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof.”
“Overcomer” is the brothers’ sixth film and focuses on the life chances of basketball coach John Harrison (played by Alex Kendrick) who loses his team as hundreds of people move out of town following the closing of a manufacturing plant.
Harrison is a Christian man who saw his identity in his accomplishments. As a result, the coach begins coaching a sport that he doesn’t even enjoy. In the process, he coaches a cross-country runner who is led toward self-discovery in God as she pushes her limits.
In addition to Kendrick, the film stars actress Priscilla Shirer. Shirer is the daughter of megachurch pastor Tony Evans, a Bible teacher and New York Times bestselling author. Shirer also starred in “War Room.”
The film also stars Shari Ribby of “October Baby” fame and newcomer actress Aryn Wright-Thompson. The film’s budget was about $5 million.
At the box office, “Overcomer,” a Sony-Affirm production, was outgrossed by only two films: “Angel has Fallen” ($21.2 million in its first weekend) and “Good Boys” ($11.7 million in its second week), both of which played in over 3,000 theaters. “Overcomer” finished just ahead of the “Lion King, which grossed $8.15 million in its sixth week.
As previously reported, the film does not shy away from the Kendrick brothers’ Christian message and centers around the message of Ephesians 1 and 2, which focuses on identity. The movie includes a scene where the sinner’s prayer is spoken and touches on things like learning how to pray and how to know God.
“Satan loves to convince people that they’re the opposite of what Ephesians 1, 2 and 3 say they are,” Alex Kendrick says.
“He’ll say, ‘Oh, well, you’re not actually loved that much; you’re not really blessed. You’re a failure. You don’t have the ability to do what it takes.’ And Scripture says, ‘No, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.’”
Kendrick noted in the interview that “Satan was attacking Jesus’ identity.”
“The devil knows that our identity is the core of everything we do,” he stated. “All the way to the cross, Jesus was constantly attacked on the basis of His identity. But before Jesus healed anyone or performed miracles, He heard His father say to Him, ‘This is my son in whom I’m well pleased.’ Because Jesus knew who He was, He could hang on the cross, rejected by everyone else, but confident in knowing He was loved by the Father.”
Ahead of the film’s release last week, evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, urged his followers to go see “Overcomer.”
“It’s amazing seeing the talent that comes from @SherwoodChurch to make quality entertainment that influences our culture with inspiring & meaningful messages of faith & hope,” Graham wrote on Twitter, referring to the Georgia Baptist church where the Kendricks serve as pastors.