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, Fireproof, Courageous). Churches and people of faith who are most concerned about worthwhile, redemptive movies have bought out theater showings, as they have for many other redemptive movies.
On Aug. 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 Box Office…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…War Room could easily become Kendrick’s highest opener ever after 2011’s Courageous ($9.1M), also from TriStar…”
Producing War Room through their new production company, Kendrick Brothers Productions, the brothers have skillfully used news and social media to build a wide, growing base of supporters who will see their movies in theaters. War Room, is a professional movie that has partnered with Provident Films, AFFIRM Films, TriStar Pictures, and Sony Pictures. The Kendrick Brothers are still associate pastors with their previous producers Sherwood Baptist Church, that has given the Kendrick Brothers’ production of War Room its blessing and support.
Rory Bruer, President, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures has said, “War Room is the ideal addition to our August slate, following in the footsteps of last year’s hit, Heaven is For Real, which had a $12 million budget and grossed more than $100 million…We are pleased to be distributing the Kendrick Brothers’ next film, which will be the perfect programming for families seeking a wholesome and inspiring Summer movie.”
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 such as that of Aunt Ester Tyler in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and Miss Leah in Flyin’ West.
In a recent interview, Karen 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 also 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.
In many interviews, veteran film actors have shared on red carpets and in other settings 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 recently shared his conviction that “…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 studio coming to theaters this fall and in 2016. 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.
Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com