The swashbuckling family action-adventure film Beyond the Mask—with CGI and green-screen effects unprecedented for the faith genre—scored with fans and at the box office in its theatrical debut this weekend.
Fans on Rotten Tomatoes awarded Beyond the Mask a 94 percent approval rating—the second-highest for films opening on the June 5 weekend. Combined with record-breaking on-demand sales, the film’s box office topped $1 million.
“Beyond the Mask is a big favorite with family audiences,” Director Chad Burns said. “The 100-city theatrical opening took it wider, more audiences responded, and we’re loving the response.”
From Burns Family Studios and Freestyle Releasing, Beyond the Mask is a rousing, epic, historical drama that reviewers called “stunning” and “groundbreaking.”
“Go watch this great movie,” one Variety reader commented. The next comment: “Director great . . . story great and full of surprises. MUST SEE.”
“A wonderfully balanced mixture of Zorro-esque action/adventure, Jane Austen romance, with a James Bond-inspired villain set in the familiar and resonant pages of our own American history,” Caleb T. Carrol wrote on Fandango.
Beyond the Mask brings history to life with the story of Will Reynolds, leading mercenary for the British East India Company. Will has been double-crossed and now is on the run in the American colonies. To redeem his name and win back the woman with whom he’s never been fully truthful, Will takes on a new mask to thwart his former employer. As his past closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte—as well as Ben Franklin—as he races time to defuse a plot of historical proportions. The revolutionary Beyond the Mask is a faith-filled adventure celebrating grace, liberty and the true freedom found only in Christ.
Critical praise for Beyond the Mask:
“Stunning special effects.” Christian Post
“On the same stage as NATIONAL TREASURE and ZORRO.” Plugged In
“Simply put—Amazing!” MoviePilot.com
“A groundbreaking, fast-paced action adventure with computer-generated images rivaling anything out of Hollywood.” Refreshed Magazine
Besides the 100-city debut, Beyond the Mask is available in other locations in theaters on demand. The film initially opened in April on Gathr’s on-demand platform at a record-setting 440-plus theaters nationwide.
“If Beyond the Mask isn’t in your city, just reserve a theater through Gathr and bring it,” Producer Aaron Burns said. “Everything a fan needs to see the movie in a local theater is on our website at BeyondtheMaskMovie.com.”
The story-behind-the-story of Beyond the Mask is another compelling tale. Aaron and Chad Burns are homeschooled cousins who began making films with family members for fun and school projects. Early efforts morphed into Burns Family Studios, creators of PENDRAGON, an action-adventure film that won awards and played nationally.
Starting the process for Beyond the Mask four years ago with a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Burns cousins marshaled an army of volunteers and movie professionals to shoot the film in 2012-13. They even attracted international star John Rhys-Davies of The Lord of the Ring series to the project.
The on-demand release posted record box office results for the Gathr platform. In the two weeks following the opening, it managed a box-office-leading per screen sales average for the Monday-Wednesday time frame. That strong on-demand opening then paved the way for the full theatrical release.