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Christian film triumphs at box office

War Room is the latest faith-based film to do well there, currently charting at number two.

The low-budget creation, made for only $3.5 million (around £2.3 million), made around $11.4 million (£7.4 m) in its opening weekend.

The film tells the story of a wise elderly woman who helps a middle-aged couple fix their marriage by turning their wardrobe into a prayer room.

Straight Outta Compton, the film based on the life of former rap group NWA, continues to dominate the U.S. box office chart at number one, earning $13.3 million in its third weekend (around £9 million).

However War Room played at around 2,000 less locations than Straight Outta Compton, according to The Guardian.

Phil Contrino, vice-president and senior analyst at, said "It's a very good result because it didn't cost a lot to make or promote.

"It was propelled by word-of-mouth and targeted advertising.

"I think it'll hold up quite well in the weeks ahead."

Christian brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick are behind the production.

Rich Peluso, senior vice-president of collaborative production company Affirm Films, said in a statement: "They are intimately connected to faith leaders across the country and work hard to integrate themes within their movies that resound with these leaders and provide resources that allow the use of the movie as both entertainment and a useful tool to change lives and hearts."

Alex Kendrick, director, told the Hollywood Reporter he realised during the writing the film would be more powerful and passionate if it was told from an African American perspective: "The African-American church is more visceral, they are more expressive and there is a powerful passion to their prayers."
Contrino, the box office analyst, said: "It's kind of baffling when people are baffled by religious movies opening well.

"And it's funny to hear religious movies called a niche. It's much bigger than that.

"If you give [audiences] content that reinforces their belief system and connects with them in a powerful way you get good box office grosses."

Other recent Christian films such as Heaven is for Real, Noah, Do You Believe, Son of God and God is Not Dead have also done well at the box office.

Hugh Jackman is expected play apostle Paul in a new faith film, produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Premier's Inspirational Breakfast film critic, Simon Calver, told Premier's News Hour: "People shouldn't have to go and see something because they're Christian and it's a Christian film.

"They should go to be able and see it knowing they're going to see a good film, and that they'll be able to tell their friends about it and say 'look, this is a really good film and actually has some interesting things in it about what I believe." 

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Inspirational Breakfast's film critic Simon Calver here:

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