Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media and culture:

$18 million + and counting. That’s the domestic box office take so far as Breakthrough (which debuted as Easter weekend’s #3 film) enters its second weekend of theatrical distribution. The film tells the true story of John Smith, a St. Louis teenager who fell through an icy lake in the winter 2015. He was underwater for about 15 minutes before efforts to resuscitate him were even started. After being rushed to the hospital in an apparent coma, it appears that only a miracle can save him – which is exactly what many believe happened.

I had the opportunity to chat with producer DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven, Heaven is for Realabout the film’s success — which he measures in terms beyond its mere financial success.  He credits the movie’s positive reception with the power of its true story. “I like true stories,” he says, adding “If Breakthrough had been made up, if wouldn’t be as powerful.” He also cites the of the “moving” performance of Chrissy Metz (This is Us) as John’s adoptive mother Joyce, whose personal faith in God drives the action forward, as a reason why the movie is connecting with audiences. He says he’s been talking to audience members every day since the movie’s debut and is pleased that it seems to be helping many of them to have their own personal breakthroughs as the story touches something deep inside them.

“God is still in the miracle business,” Franklin declares, saying he hopes Breakthrough encourages people to “hang in there every day” and to never give up on the love and power of God.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11




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