The Chosen is a multi season TV series on the life of Jesus portrayed in the Gospels. Each episode focuses on one of the stories.
Now in its third season, the first two episodes were released as a special-screening in 2,012 theaters across the US this past weekend.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show shocked Hollywood as it grossed $8,7 million on its first weekend, and ended up as the third most watched movie.
Leading the way was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with $67.3 million on its second weekend of viewing. Second place fell to another new release, a comedy-horror movie called The Menu, which had $9 million in sales, but was viewed in 3,211 theaters, a third more than The Chosen.
The Chosen beat out releases by such Hollywood franchises as Disney, Universal and DC Comics. It also outsold, She Said that covered the exposure of notorious Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein by New York Times reporter Jodi Cantor.
Writing for the Texas Monthly, Sean O’Neal, said the show portrays Jesus’ disciples as real, quirky people. O’Neal wrote, that they are “real, vaguely neurotic people, busting free of the stained-glass images that have long enshrined them. They bicker and fall in love. They struggle with insecurities and jealousies.”
“[F]or those who might wonder why ‘the greatest story ever told’ couldn’t also have a little more humor or humanity … The Chosen is something of a miracle,” O’Neal added.
He also stated that based on the Lord’s comments throughout the Gospels, many Biblical scholars believed that Jesus had a sense of humor, which also shows up in the series.
Caleb Parke, an associate editor with Fox News added, “The Chosen carries the character development of House of Cards or The Crown, but with an authenticity to the biblical narrative like nothing I’ve ever witnessed in faith-based media.”
The Chosen, first released in 2019, has reportedly been watched by an estimated 94 million people around the world. The first two years have been viewed over 400 million times.
The series can be watched free of charge by downloading The Chosen app available on Apple and Google stores. It can also be viewed online at the Angel Studios website, which is distributing the movie. It is also available on some streaming platforms such as Tubi.
The Chosen was initially crowd-funded with 18,000 investors kicking in over $10 million and that, along with additional crowdfunding, completely paid for the first two seasons.
The series is co-written and directed by Dallas Jenkins and stars Jonathan Roumie as Jesus.
READ: Box Office: ‘Black Panther 2’ Leads, ‘The Menu’ and ‘The Chosen’ Feast While ‘She Said’ Starves AND Atheists Are Watching The Chosen, Dallas Jenkins Says: ‘It Could Plant a Seed’ AND The Chosen’ Is Christian TV That Even Heretics Can Get Behind