War Room Nearly Topples Gangsta Rap Blockbuster
The latest film by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick was a box-office hit this past weekend.
"War Room," the movie about the power of prayer, surprised critics, raking in $11 million in ticket sales, despite playing on a third of the number of screens as the weekend's top movie, "Straight Outta Compton."
The film's opening success came partly because of the support of churches, many of which rented out entire theaters to attend. It's a move that sends a strong message to Hollywood about the kinds of movies Christians want to see.
According Variety, the credit for the movie's ticket sale surge goes to its cast of African-Americans. The film stars best-selling author and Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer as the lead character, Elizabeth Jordan.
T.C. Stallings, who also had a role in the Kendrick's film, "Courageous," plays Shirer's husband in the film.
Actress Karen Abercrombie plays "Miss Clara," an elderly prayer warrior who encourages Elizabeth Jordan to fight for her family, on her knees.
Bishop Neil C. Ellis, with Mount Tabor Church in Nassau, Bahamas, tweeted his excitement about seeing "War Room."
Retired NFL Coach Tony Dungy also took to Twitter after seeing the film.
"War Room was powerful. Very convicting. Some great lessons for marriage and for life," he said.
Reaction was the same on Facebook.
"Wow! Just finished watching.....excellent! To God be all the glory! Victory in Jesus...victory in prayer!!" Tabitha Person, with Thirst Ministries, said.
"Just saw 'War Room" excellent movie!! All married couples, about to marry or about to divorce should see this movie. It could change your relationship for the better," Edna Ramirez said.
CBN News asked the Kendrick brothers about their decision to cast mostly blacks in the film.
"When it came to 'War Room' there was a passionate flavor we wanted to present that really would have been different any other way," director Alex Kendrick said.
"I felt like the Lord was saying it needs to be told through the African American perspective and the female perspective," he added.
"And so we follow Elizabeth Jordan's character in the movie. And I think with Miss Clara's character, with Elizabeth and Tony's characters in the movie, if it had been a different flavor, the movie would have taken on a whole different vibe. It needs to be what it is," he said.
"There was that passion, that demonstration of seeking God in a manner that just wouldn't have worked any other way," he added. "Not to say that this movie doesn't apply to everybody, but it needed to be what it is. And Miss Clara needed to be who she is."
Watch the Kendrick Brothers explain why they chose a mostly all-black cast for this movie.