"Facing the Giants" box office and spiritual success - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"Facing the Giants" box office and spiritual success

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November 13, 2006

Albany -- Sherwood Baptist Church's movie "Facing the Giants" continues to be a big box office hit.

For the fourth week in a row, Giants did more than one million dollars of business. In seven weeks, the religious film has sold more than 1.25-million tickets, raking in more than $8.2-million. But the movie makers say they are counting the film's phenomenal success in a different light.

"Facing the Giants" cost about $100,000 to make, with a mostly volunteer cast and crew. It has grabbed Hollywood's attention as it prepares to open its eighth week on more than 360 screens across America.

But Alex Kendrick, who wrote, produced, and stars in the movie, says their church is more excited about the religious response that "Giants" is stirring. Alex Kendrick said "we have heard of about 800 people that have made a first time decision for Jesus Christ. And those are just the people who have contacted us, to let us know. That is the first number we look at, that says this was worth it."

 "Facing the Giants" is the story of a losing high school football team and its coach, who turn their season and lives around through faith in God. Kendrick says the movie touches people's hearts, and that is a big reason for its success. Kendrick said "in many ways I think this movie reflects the values of middle America. And so people identify with the characters in the movie. And I think they are encouraged, possibly inspired by the story, which was our hope."

Kendrick and other staff and church members who star in the movie are speaking and appearing across the country every week, being treated like movie stars. Kendrick says they are happy movie goers are enjoying the film, while getting their message. Kendrick said "more than the spiritual reaction, when they leave the theatre and desire a closer walk with God, makes it all worth it."

 Kendrick says "Facing the Giants" will go on sale on DVD in early 2007, then make its television debut. Then the Church will begin their next film. Kendrick said "yea, we are praying through that plot right now. We hope to shoot one next year."

Kendrick says they have been working with other churches, who are also interested in making Christian movies.

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