This weekend, 20th Century Fox will be debuting their new film, Son of God in theaters. Will it do as well as the soundtrack, which debuted in the top 5 on iTunes Soundtracks Chart?
The film will hit theaters ten years after Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which defined the decade. The Passion opened at $83.8 million and went on to earn a whopping $612 million worldwide. Without the controversy, Son of God isn't expected to match those numbers but it can still make an impact on the balance sheet. Burnett, Downey and 20th Century Fox are hopeful that the film will strike a chord with faith-based moviegoers, which is an underserved, yet huge, audience. They've heavily marketed the film to church groups and religious organizations to a great extent, racking up a sensational $4.1 million in advance ticket sales.
As a general rule, Hollywood studios can use pre-release tracking to predict a film's opening numbers, but Christian films aren't as easy to track. The estimates are that Son of God could open anywhere between $14 million and $30 millions. If it comes in more towards the higher end, it could beat the weekend's other new offering, Non-Stop, which is Liam Neeson's newest action-thriller. Neeson, or at least his voice, can also be found on The Lego Movie, which could feasibly beat both new films at the box office.
Son of God is an uncommon project. The movie, which focuses on the life of Jesus Christ, was made using footage from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's hit 10-hour television miniseries The Bible and will include deleted scenes that didn't make it to the TV project. The soundtrack, which is now available in stores in North America and iTunes, comes from the partnership of Republic Records, 20th Century Fox and LightWorkers Media (owned and operated by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey). Oscar winner, Golden Globe winner, and multiple Grammy winner Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe composed riveting orchestral music for the film which is enhanced by lyrics and vocals from Lisa Gerrard while exclusive remixes of songs by multiplatinum-selling and award-winning artists like CeeLo Green, Hillsong UNITED, OneRepublic, Sara Bareilles, Steven Stern & George Krikes and The Fray find their place on the track as well.
In a press release, producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett talked about the musical side of the project, saying, "The music and talent on this soundtrack is truly such an incredible part of telling this story. The great Hans Zimmer has been an inspiration since the beginning and now we are excited to be able to add even more voices to Son of God and engage our audience through music that they have yet to experience."
The soundtrack is the latest in a string of successful and award-nominated film and television music releases from Republic Records. They have been involved in soundtracks for The Hunger Games, Les Miserables, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, The Walking Dead, the music documentary entitled Muscle Shoals, to name a few titles.