On August 29, Deadline Hollywood reports that “War Room” that opened Friday, August 28, came out of the gate as a front-runner. Deadline Hollywood states, “…Affirm/Tri-Star’s faith-based title War Room looks to have edged out Universal/Legendary’s Straight Outta Compton, $3.8M to $3.7M at Friday’s B.O…there’s no doubt that Alex Kendrick’s film about a strained family that finds redemption through an elderly lady’s war room of prayer is coming on strong. It could make $10M-$10.8M for the weekend, which is 100% more than the industry was projecting it to be at 1,135 theaters. War Room could easily become Kendrick’s highest opener ever after 2011’s Courageous ($9.1M), also from TriStar…”
August 29, Forbes also reports how “War Room” was top at the box office on its first day in the theaters.
With ever-improving movies, the Kendrick Brothers have built a strong, solid community of supporters since their first movie “Flywheel” in 2003 (“Facing the Giants” was in 2006, “Fireproof” in 2008, and “Courageous” in 2011). Churches and people of faith who are most concerned about worthwhile, redemptive, inspiring content in stories on film, have bought out theater showings, as they have for many other redemptive movies.
Although the writing for Kendrick Brothers’ movies still needs some improvement, especially with too much dialogue and too many endings in “War Room,” their supporters are growing and appreciating the improvements in performances along with good, redemptive, family-values content. The Kendrick Brothers, like many other faith-based independent film producers and companies, have skillfully used news and social media to build a wide, growing base of supporters who will see their movies in theaters and later purchase or rent them on DVD.
The Kendrick Brothers have produced “War Room” with their new production company, Kendrick Brothers Productions. Their earlier feature movies have been produced through Sherwood Pictures out of Sherwood Baptist Church ministries. “War Room,” is a more professional movie that has partnered with Provident Films, AFFIRM Films, TriStar Pictures, and Sony Pictures. The Kendrick Brothers are still associate pastors with Sherwood Baptist Church, which has given the Kendrick Brothers’ production of “War Room” its blessing and support.
In a private screening of “War Room” Austin Move Examiner has observed better acting than seen in earlier Sherwood Pictures. “War Room” has a cast of veteran African-American actors that bring good performances to the movie. Karen Abercrombie who plays lead Aunt Clara, has a rich resume of experience with theater, music, and film productions. Karen, who is a middle-aged actor, has played a wide range of characters that have included old-soul, wise women characters.
In an exclusive interview with Austin Movie Examiner, Ms. Abercrombie has told how she has appreciated performing old-soul characters with their depth and breadth of wisdom. Karen Abercrombie and the rest of the African-American cast of “War Room” bring a depth of spirit, soul, and wisdom to their performances in “War Room,” with its honest, vulnerable, broad but wise appeal, as it focuses on the power of prayer.
The professional developments and improved performances with the Kendrick Brothers’ movies have been seen with other independent, redemptive movies and film companies in 2015. “Do You Believe,” produced by Pure Flix has many veteran actors in it who give quality performances: Sean Astin (lovable hobbit Sam Gamgee in “The Hobbit”), Lee Majors, Cybill Shepherd, Mira Sorvino (Academy Award and Golden Globe winner), Alexa PenaVega and others.
Another recent example of faith-based movie with quality performances by veteran actors has been “Little Boy” produced by Metanoia Films with Emily Watson, Kevin James, Tom Wilkinson, Eduardo Verástegui and more.
Other veteran performers have given quality performances in faith-based movies recently in theaters, such as John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in “Lord of the Rings”) in “Return to the Hiding Place” and “Beyond the Mask.”
In many interviews with Austin Movie Examiner leading, veteran, film actors have shared on red carpets and in other exclusive interviews how they want to perform in movies with worthwhile and redemptive content that do not compromise their values and that they can share with their families with good consciences.
John Rhys-Davies has recently shared a conviction that Austin Examiner has heard in interviews. He has stated, ” …We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we’re going to lose our civilization…”
Fortunately, there are more ever-improving redemptive movies produced by independent and major studios coming to theaters this fall and in 2016. They include: “Shake off the World,” “Adrenaline,” “90 Minutes in Heaven,” “Captive,” “‘Woodlawn,” “The Peanuts Movie,””The Masked Saint, ” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Risen,” “Kung Fu Panda 3,” “The Redemption of Gavin Stone,” “Ben-Hur,” “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” “God’s not Dead 2,” “Miracles from Heaven,” “I Am Not Ashamed: Rachel Joy Scott Story,” “Same Kind of Different as Me,” “Providence,” ” 90 Minutes in Heaven,” “Do You Believe 2,” “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew,” “Butterfly Circus,” HD Texas movies and more.
The Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content in redemptive and family movies continues. Hopefully, they will help our culture and world find “The Moral Compass” and redeem our civilization.