'The Chosen' theatrical release on pace to hit No. 3 at box office
"I think the response has been remarkable... And it's proven that there's this huge audience who want incredible stories that amplify light throughout the world. And they're willing to put their money where their mouth is."
A theatrical release of two episodes from the television series "The Chosen" is on pace to claim the number three spot at the box office.
A crowdfunded project from Angel Studios, the series depicts the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the early Apostles in an episode-based serial that has just entered its third season. The first two episodes of season three are currently playing in theaters.
The studio announced in a press release that, following a $3.7 million Friday gross, the release was on track to reach the third spot at the box office. The studio expects a strong Sunday showing.
Speaking on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show on Friday, Angel Studios President Jordan Harmon said the support from viewers has enabled the project to grow and allow the studio to explore to new ways to produce content outside of Hollywood studios.
"I think the response has been remarkable," he said. "And it's proven that there's this huge audience who want incredible stories that amplify light throughout the world. And they're willing to put their money where their mouth is."
'As we've watched over the last four years, this has built momentum. But we did it in such a unique way. And that we have a free model. It's a free TV series, you can watch on the angel app, anytime you want for free," he continued. "And we created mechanisms, like paying it forward or buying merchandise so that you can support the show and get it throughout the world."
"But once we built the large enough audience, we said, hey, you know what, let's create a celebration for this audience. So we looked at theatrical completely differently," he continued. "And we said, why don't we now that we've created this audience of 10s of millions of people, create a celebration inside of the theaters and see how they respond, and they love it. And it's been, it's been so good, just to see people show up, to rally together, and to put this project on the map and bigger and better ways."
Also on the show, Harmon addressed the studio's next project, an animated biopic of King David of Israel, which has amassed a budget of roughly $50 million, in no small part due to the crowdfunding support from would-be viewers. Harmon insisted that the new financing methods the studio employs are enabling it to compete with major studios.
"David has come up with some incredible innovations that are going to allow them to compete with some of those incredible animated films throughout the world, but for 1/4 the cost," he said. "Now that's still a lot of money. I mean, you're still looking at $50 million to produce this. But between the crowd and institutional investors, we've been able to assist them in raising well over $26 million. And we're well on our way to getting the full production budget."
"And so we're very, very excited because we think that this will be a story that will have a gateway to the to the entire world of seeing God's heart through the eyes of David," he concluded. "And so we're so excited about this project. We're excited about the impact it's going to have and our goal and mission with it is that this will be the most viewed animated film of all time."