The film industry is one that capitalizes on trends, especially massive production companies searching for the next blockbuster movie. Interestingly enough, it seems that religious epics have been the answer in the early 2014 season of movies.
Knowing that screenplays have been adapted from young adult novels in surplus as of late, it does not seem odd that a new trend would come forth, and being that religious texts are relatively uncharted territory with massive money making potential, this is now the case.
The first of these films was released this past February; "Son of God" tells the life story of Jesus from birth to death, and was made up of a hodgepodge of footage from the History Channel series "The Bible." The film tanked critically and the majority of viewers who were not religious were unenthused. However, Christian followers gave it an immense box office push. Although it was not well received, it is one in a line of religious films soon to come.
Darren Aronofsky is at the helm of the big blockbuster flick "Noah" that stars Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins and details the biblical tale of Noah's Ark. The film was just recently released, and uses the bible story as a vessel for a visually beautiful and dramatic telling that has a much larger appeal to a wider demographic. This film not only has a famous director attached to it, but also has stars that the public are familiar with, almost guaranteeing success.
An under the radar film that deals with themes of Christianity and the afterlife is "Heaven is for Real," which stars Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Thomas Haden Church. This film is set to release on April 14 and centers around a father who is tasked with sharing the remarkable story of his son's miraculous journey to heaven. Not only is the film based on a New York Time's Bestseller, but it is based on a true story and incidentally hits theaters on Easter Sunday.
Although little is known about Ridley Scott's "Exodus," what is known is that it is adapted from a well-known bible story, a familiar theme in the young year. The 20th Century Fox picture tells the story of the Israeli liberation from Egypt and stars Christian Bale as Moses.
Rounding out the year of holy movies is the prequel to mega-success "Passion of The Christ" titled "Mary, Mother of Christ." What makes this movie unique is that renowned pastor and television personality Joel Osteen is an executive producer on the project. The cast includes Peter O'Toole and Ben Kingsley and is rumored to be released in December, likely on Christmas day.
Although Christianity is seemingly losing power in America, the film industry has recognized its potential for success, both geared toward people of faith, as well as savvy movie goers looking to see a quality film. The draw is simple and surprisingly has not been exploited until now, but it is yet to be seen if these films will find success.