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Is “WOODLAWN” the Next WAR ROOM? We’ll see…

This is the season for faith-based, explicitly Christian movies.  War Room was first in the box office one week (it’s second week, beating out Straight Outta Compton) and has now taken in over $60m (Check out how well Heaven Is For Real did)!  (And there are others:  Captive garnered about $2.5m and 90 Minutes in Heaven was nearly at $5m!)

Now we have Woodlawn – based on a true story – how Christian love can help heal racial divisions.  It places the South in a positive light, glorifies Jesus, and even has Bear Bryant (Jon Voight has the role of the legendary Alabama football coach) in a small part of the show.

Here is a review of the movie from The Hollywood Reporter – a very favorable review, if I might say:

The Erwin brothers, who have a personal stake in the material–their father, Hank Erwin, is the real-life chaplain played by Astin–lay on the religiosity on a bit thick, occasionally sacrificing credibility and coherence in the process. But the film largely succeeds in achieving its modest goals, delivering a feel-good, real-life inspirational story in a mostly engaging fashion. With its well-staged gridiron sequences and solid ensemble performances, Woodlawn may even manage to lure viewers away from their televised football games over the next couple of weeks.

I am not familiar with the Erwin brothers (Mom’s Night Out, October Baby) but their movies so far are Christian for sure. Here’s a early box office prediction:

That leaves one final new release vying for attention. Pure Flix will attempt to bring out the faith-based crowds who recently turned “War Room” into an unexpected smash, when they debut “Woodlawn” on 1,500 screens. The picture centers on a high school football team that makes an unlikely playoff run following a spiritual awakening among its players. It should do $4 million in its opening weekend. Pure Flix did not provide budget information.

Box Office Mojo’s analysis is a bit better:  Five million.  Did I hear six?  Or Seven?

Maybe people can get out and “scare” the Halloween fare away a bit with a nice surprising turnout for a believing movie!  I probably can’t do it this weekend or next but I’ll try (Lord willing) for the 31st.

I am pleased with the level and variety of faith-based movies today.  If I had a few million for a faith-based movie production, I’d do a movie about Ernest Manning (No not Peyton and Eli’s father – that’s Archie Manning!) the Premier of Alberta (think state governor in a parliamentary system) for 25 years and also preached on the radio every Sunday afternoon (Back to the Bible Hour Canada) how did such a guy get his start?  Well, I take you back to 1935 – the height of the Depression…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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