Left Behind Hits Theatres Today

Matthew Turner
This weekend may hold the answer to many questions about the future of Christian movie making. With the release of Left Behind: The Movie to theatres nation-wide, the country will be watching as many evangelical Christians create long lines at the theatres in an effort to boost the end-time thriller to the top of the box office charts.

Boasting the acting talent of Kirk Cameron and Chelse Noble, among others, Left Behind has received attention not usually given to Christian movie releases. Over 600 people showed up at the LA premiere. Media outlets all across the United States including Entertainment Tonight, New York Times and are talking about its release. Many predict that it will have a huge first weekend and then have a drastic drop-off the following week. Unfortunately, this is the history of many Christian creative efforts. The Christian Music Industry is a prime example of this trend. New releases from such artists as DC Talk, Michael W. Smith and Plus One have had huge numbers the first week in release, but struggle to stay on the charts only seven days later.

Many are befuddled by the awkward marketing campaign used to promote Left Behind. The video and DVD of the movie were released to the general market back in October of 2000. When asked about this seemingly backward promotional drive, the producers of Left Behind defended their marketing scheme saying it is an attempt to allow evangelicals foreknowledge about the movie so they can invite their non-Christian friends.

The movie was welcomed in October to less-than-delightful reviews from mainstream and Christian media. Many praised the acting, yet sneered at the storyline and special effects.

The truth will be in the numbers. Come Monday morning, the box office amounts will indicate the impact Left Behind will have on the movie industry in general. If the numbers are poor, no one will blink an eye and our entertainment reality will continue as normal. But, if the numbers are good, it may encourage Hollywood to reconsider the dollar amounts spent on Family Entertainment.

In either case, this will not be the end of Christian movie making. We have at least three Christian movies that will attempt to make their mark at the box-office. Its awesome to see how much mainstream movie production has progressed in the last several years. With the amazing special effects, the high-dollar amount spent on sets, and the unbelievable pool of acting talent that continues to grow, lets hope that Christian movie making is one of things that doesnt get left behind.

By Matthew Turner

Find Out All You Need To Know About Left Behind
Click Here For Holly's Review of Left Behind
Click Here For Michael's Review of Left Behind