“Jesus Revolution,” a film that depicts events surrounding the Jesus movement of the late 1960s and 1970s in the US continues to make big moves at the box office, raking in nearly $40 million. 1970s was a time of spiritual transformation when young people, tired and desperate from a challenging culture, turned to Christ in droves.
The movie tells the story of Harvest Crusade founder Greg Laurie’s salvation and the journey of the late Calvary Chapel architect Chuck Smith.
Coincidentally, the film came out as thousands flocked college campuses like Asbury as revival went on. The two events are not coordinated according to the producer Kevin Downes, who spoke to CBN in an interview.
“What’s funny is — people think that we had something to do with it,” he said of Asbury. “We had nothing to do [with it]. Please, people, we’re not that smart.”
The film is changing lives and hearts, just as revival broke out on college campuses like Asbury last month.
“We’re seeing videos of revival going on in movie theaters,” Downes said. “We’re seeing … outbursts of prayer and worship happening outside of the theater or inside the auditorium after the film. And it’s just so encouraging because, literally, that was our heart.”]
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Downes said he knew something was special about “Jesus Revolution” even as they were on set, as he said the team “really felt [God’s] presence throughout the making of the film.”
“There was just miracle after miracle of things that shouldn’t have happened the way they happened,” Downes said. “And God continued to just kind of guide the path of the film.”
The baptism scenes in the movie garnered much attention and were just one area in which God’s hand was evident. Downes said it was important for the team to film the baptisms at Pirates Cove, where Smith and Laurie have real-life baptism history.
Jonathan Roumie, who plays Lonnie Frisbee, reported he helped offer real-life baptisms of actors after reciting the sinner’s prayer with them.
“[Jonathan] goes, ‘You’ll never believe what happened,’” Downes said. “And I’m like, ‘What?’ And he goes, ‘I just baptized people for real.’”
The movie scored an A+ CinemaScore rating, a rare feat in Hollywood and an indication audiences truly love the film. A CinemaScore rating, ranging from A+ to F, measures fans’ reactions to major feature film releases on opening night.
And, according to director Jon Erwin, “Jesus Revolution” has also broken another barrier: it reportedly made the most domestic box office revenue for any Lionsgate movie since 2019.
Erwin told CBN’s Faithwire he’s deeply honored by the achievement.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “I’m grateful.”