The remarkable ratings of Â The Bible Â miniseries on the History Channel led to the release of the new film Â Son of God.
Serious, Biblically correct films like Son of God make it easy to forget the Jesus Christ Superstar-style whimsical messiah who once reigned at box offices.
Producers played up the fact that it had been Â 10 years since Mel Gibsonâ€™s Â Passion of the Christ Â was released and grossed at the box office more than $600 million internationally. In its opening weekend, the Â Son Â of Â God Â made Â $26 millionâ€“not bad, given that its content had previously aired on television.
Both films are serious for their revenue generating, their strategic niche marketing to the religiously devout, and their tone, style, and approach. Â The Passion Â was two hours of brutality. Some reviewers screamed that it was a Â horror flick, not a holy one. Gibson was intent on accuracy (or at least how his particular Catholicism viewed the sacred story). The characters did not speak English and he had the color of actor Â Jim Caviezelâ€™s eyes digitally altered from blue to brown and gave him a prosthetic nose Â to make him look â€œauthentically” Jewish. The Â Son of God Â is serious in its own way. Â A â€œpolitical thriller” and an epic â€œlove story,” Â the film features Â overtly evangelical themes Â of the virgin birth, miraculous healings, vicious crucifixion, and the resurrection.