Risen Opens to Critical Acclaim and Box Office Success

By Al Perrotta Published on February 22, 2016

Risen is a box office winner. The new film depicting the Resurrection of Christ from the point of view of a Roman tribune in search of Jesus’ body earned nearly $12 million this weekend, good enough for third place. The only movies to beat it were the superhero smash Deadpool and the animated sequel Kung Fu Panda 3. 

According to Box Office Mojo, the $11.8 million opening is the seventh-biggest ever for a faith-based film, behind Passion of the Christ, Son of God, Heaven is for Real and the three Narnia films. Industry analysts expect Risen to continue performing solidly at least through Easter.

No wonder. Audiences like what they’re seeing. Risen has earned a solid A- at the movie audience survey site CinemaScore, while at RottenTomatoes.com, the film is currently earning an audience score of 80%. Even with critics, which usually treat faith-based films with barely restrained contempt, Risen has earned a 59% score.

At New York Magazine/Vulture — hardly a bastion for Christianity and traditional values — Bilge Eribi wrote, “For a film that could have easily become bogged down in Sunday School reverence or culture-war opportunism, Risen presents an intriguing, oblique approach to a Bible movie.”  On the Left Coast, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Director Kevin Reynolds … doesn’t strive to lift audiences up into the sky. He keeps one foot on the ground and lets you experience it as people must have 2,000 years ago. Whatever your religious affiliation, you will come away thinking that if all this did actually happen, it probably happened something like this.”

Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), with Jesus’ disciples, witnesses a miracle in RISEN, in theaters nationwide, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), with Jesus’ disciples, witnesses a miracle in Risen, which opened Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo: Columbia Pictures

The Stream‘s Nancy Flory in her review says, “The beauty of Risen is in the genuinely felt love of Yeshua for others, and in particular, his disciples. The precious love story of Yeshua and his disciples was very tender and meaningful.”

Here’s another look at one of the official trailers:




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