The announcement by Sherwood Baptist Church would go largely unnoticed if not for the success -- and the following -- their last two pictures enjoyed. Facing the Giants (2006) shocked Hollywood observers by making $10 million domestically despite being filmed on a $100,000 budget and Fireproof -- the top-grossing independent film of 2008 -- followed with a $33.5 million gross in spite of a $500,000 budget. Most of the revenue went to local theater owners and the films' partners (Sony Pictures, Goldwyn Films, etc.).
The church has released no clues about its next film. The announcement will take place during the 6 p.m. (EST) service, and Baptist Press will be on location and post updates on its website (www.bpnews.net) and its Twitter feed (Twitter.com/baptistpress) that night.
"After much prayer, creative brainstorming, more prayer, wise counsel, and still more prayer, Sherwood Pictures is ready to move ahead with their fourth motion picture," a statement at TheNextSherwoodMovie.com reads.
Fireproof, a film about the struggling marriage of a firefighter, opened at No. 4 in total gross in September 2008, despite being shown in only 839 theaters -- a fourth of the number of theaters that showed the top-grossing movie that weekend. But in per-theater average, Fireproof ranked No. 1 on opening weekend and stayed in the Top 10 in that category the first eight weekends (among movies showing in at least 100 theaters).
Additionally, "The Love Dare" book -- a marital advice book featured in the movie -- rose to No. 1 on The New York Times' paperback advice bestseller list and has been in the Top 10 for 58 weeks. It currently is No. 4.
Associate pastors Alex and Stephen Kendrick got Sherwood Baptist into the moviemaking business with the making of "Flywheel," a film that debuted in local theaters in 2003 and starred Alex Kendrick in the leading role. The Kendrick brothers have written and produced all three films.
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.
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