Filmgoers Show Faith in New Biblical Epic
HOLLYWOOD—Feb. 25, 2016—Motion picture audiences across the country have embraced the latest faith-based hit from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s AFFIRM label: RISEN, the story of a Roman tribune’s investigation to prove the Resurrection a hoax, emerged as the weekend’s number-one new movie and the fourth-highest opening of all time for a faith-based film, scoring an A- CinemaScore and exceeding industry predictions.
From Columbia Pictures and LD Entertainment, RISEN’s three-day box office win of $11.8 million on 2,915 screens signals another win for AFFIRM. Sony Pictures now claims four of the top six faith-based-film opening weekends of all time, five of the top seven faith movies in the last five years, and five of the top-ten-grossing films in the genre in industry history.
The success of RISEN follows on the breakthrough hit WAR ROOM, which Sony Pictures/AFFIRM released last summer. That film opened to $11.3 million and went on to take in $67.8 million at the domestic box office before beginning an incredibly successful run on home entertainment.
“This is a genre that we have embraced as a part of our studio’s DNA, and the results speak for themselves,” said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures President of Worldwide Distribution. “No major studio has had more success creating films to serve faith-based audiences than Sony Pictures. Working together with our dedicated faith-based label AFFIRM Films, we will continue to lead the charge in creating films that resonate with an audience that has a huge appetite for quality faith and family oriented content.”
Bruer, along with AFFIRM’s SVP Rich Peluso, expect audience momentum to continue through the four weekends leading to Easter.
Starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead) and Maria Botto (Soldiers of Salamina), RISEN, which opens with Jesus’ Crucifixion and views the days after through a battle-hardened and skeptical Roman tribune, opens a fresh perspective on a world-shaping story.
Columbia Pictures and LD Entertainment present in association with AFFIRM Films, a Liddell Entertainment and Patrick Aiello production, RISEN, directed by Kevin Reynolds. Screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello, and story by Paul Aiello. Mickey Liddell, Patrick Aiello, and Pete Shilaimon produced. Executive producers are Robert Huberman and Scott Holroyd. Film was financed by LD Entertainment.
From international media to blogs to twitter, filmgoers are waving thumbs up.
“It’s a miracle! Hollywood finally tells a great Bible story,” Fox News headlined.
“Why Risen is One of My All-Time Favorite Movies,” Dr. Jim Denisen, a widely read blogger, titled his entry.
“I think I would have loved Risen even if I didn’t love Jesus,” bestselling author Anne Lamott tweeted. “Ancient Jerusalem for an hour & 45, + the greatest story of Love & transformation.”
RISEN is endorsed by Faith Driven consumer and was lauded ahead of release by scores of pastors and Christian leaders, many of those quotes available at RisenMovieResources.com
“RISEN stirred up considerable anticipation. Churches are renting out theaters, groups are going en masse . . people stumble into the movie and spread the word,” Peluso said. “Alongside promotion, the big wave is word of mouth.”
About LD Entertainment
LD Entertainment is a dynamic independent studio combining entrepreneurial spirit and financial sophistication. LD has a prime presence in the motion picture marketplace as it develops, produces and strategically assembles a slate of successful films. Aware of the progressive shift in consumers’ viewing habits and emerging distribution technologies, LD Entertainment creates innovative business models and leads in shaping the entertainment industry’s future. For more information, go to www.LDEntertainment.com
About AFFIRM Films
AFFIRM Films is a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company, dedicated to producing, acquiring and marketing films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences. For more information go to www.AFFIRMFilms.com
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to www.sonypictures.com