Over the past couple of years, the faith based blockbuster has slowly but surely carved out its place in the box office market. Films like this summer's War Room, or last year's Heaven Is For Real, have made dents in the box office that might be small when it comes to the overall market, but are huge when it comes to the genre. If the record breaking trailer views for Miracles From Heaven - a new faith-based offering starring Jennifer Garner – are anything to go by, we might be seeing the beginnings of a huge Easter hit.
Apparently, the record for trailer views in the faith-based genre has been broken by Sony's latest entry in the genre, with a whopping 132 million views since its premiere on November 11th. Variety has reported that these views mostly came from the first 24 hours of the trailer's release, to the tune of 85 million views. Across social media platforms, the trailer for the Jennifer Garner vehicle has been making a splash, so we have to wonder – just what is it that makes this trailer special?
Miracles From Heaven tells the true story of the Beam family, who saw one of their younger members – Christy – ailing from a mysterious illness. With hope running out, and her family's faith being tested, her condition is eventually cured by what should have been a fatal injury. Which has everyone asking the question of whether Christy's illness was legitimate or not, since her recovery seems a little, shall we say, miraculous? You can watch this record breaking trailer for yourself below, and judge for yourself.
While Miracles From Heaven certainly isn't the next Captain America: Civil War, it looks like a polished enough product to indicate the true evolution of the faith based blockbuster. It wasn't long ago that films of this ilk were low-budget, independently distributed products that didn't really go far. Now, after following the micro-budget production / off season release strategy that so many horror films have made a mint off of, religious themed films are growing in stature and in market-share. Though the shift in fortune for such films may not totally be related to knowing how to play the market, but rather a change in the market's tastes.
While strategic release windows and keeping costs down do tend to help films like these, there's still a case to be built for the popularity of faith-based material. Just this week, the Dolly Parton made-for-TV biopic, Coat Of Many Colors, managed to win an impressive share of the ratings pie, while also telling a story steeped in faith and family values. With all of the signs pointing towards another impressive opening in the distance, Miracles From Heaven looks like it might live up to its name, delivering hope to a previously overlooked genre.
Miracles From Heaven arrives in theaters on March 18th.