When early viewers refer to an upcoming Christian film as "The Passion of the Christ" meets "The Chosen," there's little doubt the movie will be a good one.
But there is another reason why "His Only Son," an Angel Studios film that releases on March 31st just in time for Resurrection Sunday, is expected to make an impact on our culture.
The movie, which bills itself as a "biblically accurate" and authentic film based on the story of Abraham and Isaac, and one that took five years in to make, is breaking records for its successful crowdfunding model, Fox News Digital has reported.
"This is the first time a theatrical release has been crowdfunded in entertainment history," Angel Studios said in a statement.
Director David Helling says that the film is based on one of the most "controversial" accounts in all of Scripture—one in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering. It can be found in Genesis 22:1-2:
"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, 'Abraham!' 'Here I am,' he replied. Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.'"
"The Bible says it was a three-day journey to the place of the offering," Helling says. "What had to have been going through Abraham's mind know that his son, whom he had waited a quarter of a century for, whose birth was promised by God ... this was his whole world that he now had to lay upon the altar. For Abraham, that three-day walk must have felt like an eternity.
"For many, this passage from Genesis 22 has fueled much confusion and even contention toward God's Word, and many believers are left without an answer for the scoffers. That's why I wanted to make this film."
Angel Studios, which is also the distributor and platform behind the successful television series, "The Chosen," says this newest biblical drama received an overwhelming positive response from its tens of thousands of investors, whom the studio calls, "angels."
"Crowdfunding for 'His Only Son' reached capacity in 100 hours—we are responding to the demand from the audience by at least tripling the theater count nationwide and throwing our most valuable marketing resources behind the film. The Angel Guild, made up of Angel investors from every show, have rated this film with one of the highest scores we have ever received in our system," Angel Studios CEO and co-founder Neal Harmon said.
Faith-based television and films have shown great success over the past few months viewer-wise. "The Chosen" has enjoyed a great three-season run, including the finale of season three as fans clamored to theaters to see in January.
Two other faith-based films, Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist and Jesus Revolution, have seen moviegoers flock to the theaters to see them. Jesus Revolution shattered box-office expectations in February and opened to rave reviews.
Neal and Jordan Harmon, brothers and co-founders of Angel Studios, say audiences are "hungering for entertainment with Christian values and that studies they have commissioned over the years back up the current movement."
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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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