The feature film, Son of God, is getting some unusual help in the promotion department thanks to Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Archbishop José Gomez, Craig Groeschel, Miles McPherson, Ray Johnston and others. The biblical film produced by Mark Burnett (TV’s Survivor, The Amazing Race)and Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) opens nationwide on Friday, February 28, but these pastor are seeing to it that the film will play on every screen in a variety of multiplexes, approximately 3,000 in total, the night before.
For an example of this phenomenon, Crossroads Church in Cincinnati is bringing thousands of people to their local Cinemark theater where the film will be showing on 13 screens at the same time. “We’re inviting everyone to experience this historic film about the life of Jesus,” said Brian Wells from Crossroads. “If anyone comes to the theater to see another movie that night, they’ll be out of luck, unless we have a few extra tickets to give them!”
“It’s very interesting to see this level of excitement around the movie,” stated James Meredith, VP, Head of Marketing & Communications for Cinemark. “We’ve already scheduled a few large-scale theatre buyouts for Son of God in theatres across the country. The interest level for meetings, events, screenings and buyouts seems to be on par with that of major blockbuster, tentpole or franchise movies.”
Pastor Rick Warren has bought out eight different theaters throughout Orange County. “I’ve seen most of the films about Jesus produced in the past 50 years, and Son of God is the best,” Warren said. Warren is also supporting the film by creating his own curriculum which was released on February 15 – Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You.
In addition to pastors doing “Theater Take-Overs,” many others are buying out single screens at their local movie theater. “This is a rare opportunity to bring the story of Christ into our mainstream culture,” said Rick Warren. “We want to see Jesus in movie theaters where sight and sound can open up our senses and let grace come in. The message of the Gospel deserves to be on the big screen – and this is our chance to see it there.”
Relief organization Compassion International has also joined in the buyout campaign by distributing tickets to churches in more than 40 markets. “Jesus has always been at the center of our ministry,” says Mark Hanlon, Compassion International’s senior vice president of global marketing and engagement. “His life story is the greatest story ever told. And this film tells it in a beautiful, captivating way. The Gospel account of Jesus’ life is a central part of our program’s curriculum. That’s why we’re working with churches throughout the country to make this film an opportunity for outreach.”
“We’re very excited that the community is mobilizing to support Son of God,” said Mark and Roma. “The grass roots support is so important and the faith community is amazing when it mobilizes. Our hope is that the story and message of Jesus Christ will reach tens of millions of people nationwide.”
Son of God is the first major motion picture on the complete life of Jesus Christ in nearly 50 years. It will be released by 20th Century Fox in theaters nationwide on February 28, 2014, featuring powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®-winner Hans Zimmer. The film will be released in English, Spanish and Korean.