A low-budget Christian film has shot to incredible success in the US, faring better than some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters.
War Room, the story of an elderly woman who helps a couple through marital difficulties by turning a closet in their house into a ‘prayer room’, grossed over $11 million on its opening weekend.
It is the latest film by independent producers the Kendrick brothers, whose company goals include seeking to “honor Jesus Christ by making His truth and love known worldwide”.
Last weekend, the film, starring three relatively unknown actors, was shown in around 1,000 cinemas and did better than Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible instalment, which was shown in more than 3,000 locations.
The brothers’ film focuses on a middle-aged African-American couple whose marriage is threatened when the husband is tempted to be unfaithful.
God totally gets the credit for what’s happening. Thousands of people have been praying for this movie.Stephen Kendrick
Through the guidance of an older Christian lady and passionate prayer, the family are able to survive through adversity.
After hearing of the film’s box office success, Stephen Kendrick said: “God totally gets the credit for what’s happening. Thousands of people have been praying for this movie.”
Stephen and his brother Alex are both active members of Sherwood Church in Albany, Georgia.
A statement on their website explains the “core values and standards” of Kendrick Brothers Productions.
Their goals include: “To encourage, edify and equip others in their spiritual journey. To strengthen relationships in marriage, parenting, friendship and beyond” and “To inspire faith, hope and love in others”.
The brothers distributed Bible study plans to churches and ministers who use their film for discussion with their congregations.
Rich Peluso, senior vice-president of Affirm Films, the company which made War Room, said of the Kendrick brothers:
“They are intimately connected to faith leaders across the country and work hard to integrate themes within their movies that resound with these leaders and provide resources that allow the use of the movie as both entertainment and a useful tool to change lives and hearts”.
A previous film produced by the Kendrick brothers called Fireproof, which is about marriage, also astounded media critics when it came out. Made with a budget of just $500,000 it made over $12 million in the days after its release.