The faith-based film “His Only Son” has defied box office expectations despite a very low production budget and minimal marketing efforts, bringing in $11 million at the domestic box office since it opened ten days ago.
The Angel Studios biblical drama was produced, edited, written, and directed by David Helling. It tells the Old Testament story of Abraham, who was commanded by God to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
“His Only Son recounts one of the most controversial moments in the Old Testament — when Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac on the mountain of Moriah,” the official film synopsis says. “While traveling to the place of the sacrifice, alongside Isaac and two servants, Abraham is flooded with vivid memories from the years he and Sarah spent longing for the son they were promised — the son he must now lay upon the altar.”
The film was produced on a tiny budget of $250,000. Advertising was done via a crowdfunding campaign in partnership with Angel Studios, which raised more than $1.2 million for prints and advertising costs, per a report from Collider. Angel Studios said it was the first-ever crowdfunded film with a nationwide theatrical release.
“His Only Son” earned the number three spot last weekend behind “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” and “John Wick: Chapter 4.” The faith-based film got knocked out of the top five over Easter weekend due to the massive success of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
“His Only Son is the ‘little indie that could’— a film made on a tiny budget by a director who went to film school on the G.I. Bill based on a story people have wrestled with for untold centuries,” Jared Geesey, Senior VP of Global Distribution at Angel Studios, said of the project.
“Our investors believed in the project, and crowdfunded the P&A, so word could get out,” he continued. “This film was up against big studio films with serious marketing budgets, and yet, this film continues to turn in incredible numbers. We believe that the audience is the future of this industry, and we have faith they’ll prove that over and over again with each new offering they choose to get behind.”
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Other faith-based films have also performed well at the box office. The recently released “Jesus Revolution” earned $50 million in sales following its February release. “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) remains the top-earning religious-themed movie of all time, with worldwide box office sales at just over $622 million. Filming for the “Passion” sequel is set to begin in spring 2023.