Faith-based film fans are proving once again that there is a growing move to see more wholesome, family content on the big screens. This weekend, "The Chosen Season 3" premiered in the third spot at the box office beating out DC Comics, Universal, and Disney.
The special-event screening is considered by film experts as a surprise upset, but fans of the crowd-funded series have been anticipating its premiere for months.
"We have the ability to try new things, such as putting a TV show in theaters, because our fans are so passionate and supportive. Hopefully this causes others to check out Seasons One and Two," said series creator Dallas Jenkins.
The theatrical debut of 'The Chosen' Season 3 landed in the top 3 at the box office this weekend, finishing domestically with $8,687,682.
The Chosen Season 3 will end up doubling the box office revenue from last year's opening weekend with The Chosen Christmas special, and that was the #1 most successful Fathom Event in history.
"The success of The Chosen Season 3: Episode 1 & 2 is the perfect example of how innovative the event cinema business has become and how hungry audiences are for faith-based content," said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events. "Additionally, the robust partnership that we've developed with Angel Studios and The Chosen team really works – not only for Fathom Events and our exhibition partners but for fans everywhere, including several international territories who want to see this content on the big screen and as a community."
Due to overwhelming demand, the first two episodes will be in extended theaters through December 1, 2022 before becoming available on the show's free streaming platform.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE LIMITED THEATER RELEASE OF EPISODES 1 & 2 OF SEASON 3, CLICK HERE
As CBN News reported, the remaining six episodes will launch weekly on the app in December.
The crowd-funded series about the life of Jesus and his disciples took the faith-based film industry by storm in 2017. According to the Chosen App, there have been more than 400 million views of the first two seasons, behind-the-scenes looks, and cast Q&A.
As CBN News reported, "The Chosen" also found great box office success when they released "Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers", last year.
"There's an appetite here, so we're going to debut Season 3, the first two episodes, in theaters and try something new and figure out something that we haven't done before at this level," Jenkins told Movieguide. "If it works, we keep going. We're going wherever God parts the seas towards."
The Christmas special became Fathom Events' best-selling and most highly attended event at the time, earning $8 million in sales on opening night.
"For me, it's about the impact and seeing what God is doing," Jenkins told CBN's "The PrayerLink". "God has something to say and I'm just wanting to be a part of it."
Jenkins told the Deseret News the series will pick up where it left off in season 2 – Jesus feeding the 5,000.
"The Feeding of the 5,000 demands to be seen on the big screen," he said.
When asked what fans are to expect from this season, Jenkins said the characters begin to deal with the costs and the occasional confusion of following the Messiah.
"On one hand, there's a little more pain this season, more questions, more challenges to Jesus. On the other hand, that makes the victories that much sweeter," Jenkins told Deseret News. "We also see worlds collide a little more this season. The Romans with the Jews, the Pharisees in their pursuit of Jesus. We also see a few new characters fans will be excited about."
Yoshi Barrigas, who portrays the disciple Philip, told CBN's Faithwire that he applauds how Jenkins handles the character's development.
"It's humanizing the parables (of the New Testament) for people, and certainly for the cast, regardless of what our faith system was or is," he said. "I think we can all agree that these stories are meaningful and that there's deep, deep old wisdom in them."
A season three theatrical trailer will be released on Oct. 25 and tickets for the first two episodes will go on sale that same day.
The theme for Season 3 of The Chosen is based on the New Testament scripture Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
And the good news for the Christian series just continues to roll out. The creators announced this week that season 1 is now available on Netflix:
Season 1 has officially launched on Netflix! You know what to do — if we can get The Chosen trending, a whole new audience might tune in. pic.twitter.com/xWvKZBwcmy
— The Chosen (@thechosentv) November 23, 2022