Faith-based streaming series “The Chosen” finished third at the box office among all movies in its opening weekend Nov. 18–20.
“The Chosen” launched its Season 3 premiere Nov. 18 in theaters and earned more than $8.6 million during its opening weekend, following only “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “The Menu,” according to information released by series creator and distributor Angel Studios.
Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Chosen” are available to watch for free on various platforms because the show is financed via crowdfunding. It is reported to be the largest crowdfunded media project in history.
“As a crowdfunded indie show, we are thrilled to be in the top 3 winners vs. traditional Hollywood studios Disney and Searchlight,” Angel Studios said in a Nov. 21 statement. “Angel Studios’ model of building communities around creators is working.”
“The Chosen” reached the No. 3 spot while playing on just 2,012 screens — less than half as many as “Black Panther,” according to dailywire.com.
Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, tweeted Nov. 18: “Thank you to all of you that are amplifying light by supporting Angel Studios and ‘The Chosen’!”
The two-episode theatrical release of the third season of “The Chosen” is set for a 12-day run in theaters across the U.S. The TV series has been viewed nearly a half-billion times through its app.
Series creator and director Dallas Jenkins appeared recently on Baptist Press This Week to talk about the success of the show and how his team uses Scripture in their creative process.
Jenkins told Baptist Press that achieving acclaim and success for the show has never been his motivation.
“I just care about making sure that I’m pleasing God and honoring the character and intentions of Jesus and the Gospels. I do believe we’ve done that with season three, so now the results are not up to me and that’s OK,” he said.
The show has been the subject of some controversy, as some viewers interpret certain content in the show to be unnecessary or extrabiblical.
Jenkins said he truly believes the Bible to be God’s word, and this show is simply a supplement to the unchanging Scriptures.
“I’m a Baptist myself. I love the Word, and I was raised that God’s word is inerrant and is the foundation of our lives,” Jenkins said.
“I believe that, but here’s what’s very important: The Bible is the Bible. The Chosen is not the Bible. Your Bible has not changed since ‘The Chosen’ came out. So, when people express concern about adding to Scripture, the first thing I say is, ‘No, I’m not adding to Scripture because we’re not Scripture.’ The Bible is God’s word and that is unchanging. So, no matter what we do in this TV show, that should not impact anything with Scripture or your relationship with it,” he said.
Jenkins understands that pastors may have concerns with the show from time to time.
“I can’t promise any pastor that there will never be anything in the show that is different from how they would do it. What I can tell you is that I come from a conservative theological background, and I do believe the Bible is God’s word … What we are hearing without exception over and over again is people saying, ‘I’m reading the Bible more than ever because of ‘The Chosen.’ My prayer life and my Bible reading have been enhanced by my experience with The Chosen.’ The Chosen is a supplement to God’s Word, not the other way around. May God shut us down if ‘The Chosen’ ever becomes a replacement for Scripture.”
Jenkins said ultimately, he is only trying to make a quality Christian TV program, and he hopes the show can serve as a useful instrument for those in ministry to point people to Jesus.
“We’re trying to make the best show that we can. We’re trying to honor God and the character and intentions of Jesus and the Gospels. Now I believe that if we do that, and if we’re authentic to the story, it can be enjoyed. And it has been in droves by people who believe and by people who don’t,” he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Written by The Alabama Baptist with reporting from this story written by Timothy Cockes and originally published by Baptist Press, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
A scene from Season 3