A biblical drama hitting theaters just in time for Easter is breaking records for its successful crowdfunding model.
“His Only Son,” releasing March 31, bills itself as a “Biblically-accurate” and “authentic” film based on the story of Abraham and Isaac.
“This is the first time a theatrical release has been crowdfunded in entertainment history,” distributor of the film Angel Studios said.
Early viewers of the film described it as “The Passion of the Christ” meets “The Chosen.”
Director David Helling revealed it took five years to make the film on one of the most “controversial” passages in Scripture, where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering.
Angel Studios, the distributor and platform which is also behind “The Chosen,” said the newest biblical drama received a positive response from their tens of thousands of investors, whom they call “angels.”
“[C]rowdfunding for ‘His Only Son ’reached capacity in 100 hours–we are responding to the demand from the audience by at least tripling the theater count nationwide and throwing our most valuable marketing resources behind the film. The Angel Guild, made up of Angel investors from every show, have rated this film with one of the highest scores we have ever received in our system,” CEO and co-founder Neil Harmon said.
The film comes out on the heels of the successful third season of “The Chosen.” Fans clamored to see the season three finale in theaters in January, crashing a movie theater website in the process.
Another faith-based film, “The Jesus Revolution,” also shattered box-office expectations last month and opened to rave reviews.
The brothers and co-founders of Angel Studios, Neil and Jordan Harmon, say audiences are hungering for entertainment with values, and studies they’ve commissioned over the years back up the current movement.
“We know they are eager for the kind of stories Angel has to offer, so we’ve worked hard to reach families and let them know they have a home at Angel. The audience is finding that home, and they’re showing up to support both our projects and projects from friends like [‘Jesus Revolution’ director] Jon Erwin that also amplify light. It’s a thrilling time to be in this space,” Neil Harmon told Fox News Digital.
Instead of letting Hollywood gatekeepers decide the stories that will be told, the pair created an alternative audience-driven model that is transforming the entertainment landscape.
The goal was not to withdraw from culture, but find the very best of culture and amplify it, Neil Harmon said of the crowdfunding model.
“[W]e’re allowing all the filmmakers who truly want to reflect light around the world to have a mechanism to do that successfully,” he said.
Reflecting on the success of “The Chosen,” the Harmon brothers shared the personal impact fans of the show have made on their own lives.
“A lady who was in my neighborhood came up to me in the store and she had tears in her eyes. She said, ‘our 21-year-old daughter had lost her faith, but after we decided to watch ’The Chosen’ together, it changed all of our lives,” Neil Harmon recalled. “I was stunned.”
Jordan Harmon agreed.
“It’s very exciting. The show has changed my life probably as much anybody else’s,” he said.
Stream the first season of “The Chosen” by signing up for Fox Nation.