The production quality of faith-based movies improves more and more with each passing year, and they continue to draw audiences eager for entertainment that presents positive values. It’s great to see “I Can Only Imagine” doing so well at the box office (over $77 million at the time of this writing), which got us thinking: what are the top ten faith-based movies from the past twenty years? We headed over to Box Office Mojo to find out!
10. The Nativity Story (2006 / New Line Cinema)
This dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story stars Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and Oscar Isaac as Joseph. It grossed $37.6 million, or $52.5 million in today’s dollars.
9. The Shack (2017 / Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment)
William P. Young’s best-selling novel was brought to the big screen last year. The story follows Mack (Sam Worthington), a grieving father who spends a life-changing weekend with the members of the Trinity (Octavia Spencer, Aviv Alush, and Sumire) at a shack in the wilderness. The movie earned $57.3 million, which comes to $59.5 million with inflation.
8. Miracles from Heaven (2016 / TriStar Pictures)
Based on a true story, Jennifer Garner stars in this recounting of a young girl’s miraculous healing from a seemingly incurable disease. The film brought in $61.7 million, or $65.6 in today’s money.
7. God’s Not Dead (2014 / PureFlix Entertainment)
Inspired by the Newsboys’ hit song, the film tells of the struggle a Christian student (Shane Harper) faces when his college professor (Kevin Sorbo) requires him to prove God exists, or fail the class. It grossed $60.7 million, which comes out to $67.6 million today.
6. Son of God (2014 / 20th Century Fox)
“Son of God” is the story of Jesus’ life based on the gospel of John, starring Diogo Morgado. It made $59.7 million, which translates to $68.7 million when adjusted.
5. War Room (2015 / TriStar Pictures)
In this fifth release from the Kendrick brothers, Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) learns about the power of prayer from Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie) to intercede for her husband Tony (T.C. Stallings) and family. It earned $67.8 million ($74.5 million with inflation) at the domestic box office.
4. I Can Only Imagine (2018 / Roadside Attractions)
The song “I Can Only Imagine” was penned by MercyMe frontman Bart Millard in only a matter of minutes, but it was a lifetime in the making. The movie tells Bart’s (J. Michael Finley) story of pursuing his love of music and reconciling with his abusive father (Dennis Quaid). At the time of this writing the movie has earned more than $77.6 million, and still going strong!
3. Heaven is for Real (2014 / TriStar Pictures)
Based on the best-selling book by the same name, “Heaven is for Real” recounts Todd Burpo’s (Greg Kinnear) harrowing experience of nearly losing his young son Colton (Connor Corum), and Colton’s incredible testimony of his visit to Heaven. The movie made $91.4 million, which is $100.8 million in 2018.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia Series (2005, 2008 / Walt Disney Pictures, 2010 / 20th Century Fox)
Three of the beloved tales from C.S. Lewis have been brought to the big screen in recent years, with occasional rumors of a fourth installment (“The Silver Chair”) being circulated around Hollywood. “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” brought in $291.7 million ($414.7 million today), and the sequels “Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” made $181 million and $120.2 million respectively when adjusted for inflation.
1. The Passion of the Christ (2004 / Icon Productions)
A powerful film depicting the hours leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, it’s not surprising to see this mega hit from director Mel Gibson at #1. It earned $370.7 million at the domestic box office, which adjusted for inflation is $547.3 in today’s money.
Honorable Mention: The Ten Commandments (1956 / Paramount Pictures)
Sure, it’s a little older than the others on this list, but how could we talk about top-grossing faith-based films and not mention Cecil B. DeMille’s epic masterpiece? This one was the top earning film the year of its release, and until 2004’s “The Passion of the Christ” was the highest grossing religious epic in history.
What else should be on the list? What are some of your favorite faith-based films? Let us know in the comments below!
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