The movie Heaven is For Real has gained a lot of attention among movie goers in the United States and across the world. It is based on the true story of a little boy who believes that he visited heaven and met with Jesus and relatives that had died before he was born. The little boy described meeting people that no one had told him about and his story has raised interest and controversy among people all across America. We will look at the impact that this movie has had at the box office, not just in terms of its earnings but the discussions that it has initiated among people of different beliefs across America. We will also examine the different factors that may have helped to make the movie such a success.
Traditionally, faith based films have not always drawn huge crowds but this has been changing. Son of God earned a total of $59 million domestically. Noah has earned over $90 million domestically and God’s Not Dead has earned almost $50 million so far. Heaven is For Real has so far exceeded the expectations that some people had of faith based films. The movie has earned a significant sum at the box office and has taken in over $21 million in the United States alone.
To get an idea of just how well the film has done, it can be compared to other films that examine life out of the ordinary, such as the film Transcendence. Transcendence describes a man’s transition from being human to something different. Transcendence describes the protagonist as only human, in the beginning of the film, in effect, this description makes being human seem like something less. Despite all the ways in which human beings struggle, our humanity is still a beautiful thing. People are less interested in a film that caters to a need that they do not have and are more interested in learning about a need that they currently have, that is, finding out what really happens after death.
Transcendence has a cast which usually draws a significant crowd at the box office and this factor often influences earnings. Johnny Depp, of Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Neverland and other highly acclaimed films, is the main character in the story. Yet, despite the celebrity of the major stars in Transcendence, Heaven is For Real, has surpassed its earnings so far by at least $10 million.
The difference in earnings may be due to the fact that Heaven is for Real targets a larger audience. The movie gained attention from both a faith based audience and a wider mainstream audience. People who are likely to watch Transcendence may also watch faith based films such as Noah or Heaven is For Real. However, movie goers who tend to prefer faith based movies may not necessarily watch a film such as Transcendence, which caters more to a sci-fi audience.
Heaven is For Real was directed by Randall Wallace, who also wrote Braveheart, Pearl Harbor and the Man in the Iron Mask. The film was produced by Tristar Pictures and the Potter’s House church, which is led by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Tri Star pictures is a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has done other faith based films, including Ordinary People, Courageous and Soul Surfer. Sony Entertainment has a division which is dedicated to producing and marketing uplifting movies. This division is known as AFFIRM Films.
Unlike Transcendece, Heaven is For Real is based on a true story. That factor may have also influenced the film’s level of appeal to a wide audience. Many people are interested in true stories. They want to know what others have experienced and hope that this will broaden their own understanding of how to make the best of their own days on this earth.
The little boy who died is the son of Pastor Todd Burpo. His son Colton had a near death experience in which he went to heaven and met his deceased relatives. Colton also met with Jesus in this experience, which occurred when the little boy underwent surgery in 2003. While Heaven For Real is a faith based film, it does not represent the beliefs of all people of faith. Some are quick to point out that dead relatives are described in First Corinthians as sleeping and that deceased loved ones await the resurrection as described in the Gospel of John.
The timing of the film can also be assumed to have had an impact on its earnings. Releasing it over the Easter weekend made it available at a time when many children were out of school and available to participate in more family activities. During this period people are also a little more conscious of religious matters and tend to ask questions about life and the nature of death. People who watched the film were likely to be interested in learning more about what is ahead after death. Individuals who are not sure whether anything exists outside of the life we all know now would also be interested in learning more through this film.
Certainly, the box office success of a film like Heaven is For Real will have a positive impact in the movie industry. It will directly lead to more faith based films being produced not just for a religious audience but for people who have their own questions about life and spirituality. These films may be used as an evangelical tool or at least, help people to be more aware of the effects of their actions and the way that they live their lives, both in the present moment and years from now.