Top 12 highest grossing Christian movies from the 1980’s to the present.
- The Passion of the Christ – Link
Everyone has seen Mel Gibson’s interpretation of the death of Jesus Christ. With a lifetimes gross of more than $370 million, it’s definitely at the top of the list. It was released in 2004 and portrays the betrayal of Judas, the suffering Christ experienced at the hands of the Romans, the interactions between Christ and his followers and the final crucifixion scene.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Link
A much lighter film than The Passion, but still with an important message, the first installment in this series based on the books by C.S. Lewis has made over $291 million. The story follows four siblings who discover a magical land, where a mighty lion must overcame an evil witch through the powers of mercy and love. As one can imagine, there’s quite a lot of symbolism and imagery.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – Link here
The second in the Chronicles of Narnia film series, Prince Caspian takes up where the last movie left off, only this time the four children find themselves transported back to Narnia, where 1,300 years have passed. The 2008 film made about $141 million and the biblical symmetry is a little bit more difficult to read, but it’s still a very family-friendly film with valuable lessons.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Link here
Grossing over $104 million, this is the last of the Chronicles of Narnia film series, though the book series contained four other volumes. Two of the four original children are transported back into Narnia once again to ride along on a voyage across the seas. The biblical symmetry is, again, hidden, but still there. The movie debuted in 2010.
- Heaven is For Real – Link here
A 2014 film grossing $91 million, Heaven is For Real is based on a 2010 book by the same name. The film had a rather mediocre, unknown cast and debuted to conflicting reviews.
- War Room – Link here
Created by the same group of producers who brought Christian film fans Fireproof and other favorites, War Room has grossed $67 million. The 2015 film revolves around the lives of a family that seems to have it all. However, the film does seem to copy a few of the tropes found in other films from the same producers — the husband flirting with temptation, the bitter wife and the failing marriage have all been seen before.
- God’s Not Dead – Link here
Opening in 2014 and earning around $60 million, God’s Not Dead was much beloved by Christian audiences right from the start. The plot focuses on a Christian student at his university, who disagrees with his professor on an often frequently debated college point — the existence or non-existence of God. The student must therefore showdown against his professor and prove his God’s existence, or risk failing his philosophy course.
- Son of God – Link here
Quite similar to other recent works dealing with the life of Christ, Son of God did, unfortunately, not make quite as large a splash. The film made around $59 million after opening in 2014. The plot, of course, focuses on the cultural conflicts between the Jews and the Romans, and the heavy hand of Pontius Pilate, and the predicament High Priest Caiaphas finds himself in. The film does at least flesh out these two characters a bit more, as some Christians don’t seem give them the recognition they deserve within the biblical text.
- Miracles From Heaven
One of the few Christian films featuring a household name (Jennifer Garner), Miracles From Heaven earned $57 million. The plot revolves around a young girl with a rare disorder and her devoted mother who searches for a cure. When the daughter suffers a fall from a tree, she begins talking about going to Heaven. Then, to the surprise of everyone, she begins to recover from her disorder.
- Soul Surfer – Link here
A film based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, AnnaSophia Robb plays the famed teenager who lost her arm in a shark attack. The Christian teen’s parents are played by Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid. Not allowing her tragedy to change her love for the sport of surfing, she continues to surf competitively. The film debuted in 2011 and brought in a gross of almost $44 million.
- The Nativity Story – Link here
While most films on the life of Christ seem to pay attention only to his death, The Nativity Story took a different turn, with a focus on his life. Coming out in the holiday season fo 2006, it starred now-famous Oscar Isaacs and grossed $37 million. The film focuses on the virgin’s Mary’s mysterious pregnancy and the threat of the paranoid King Herod.
This little-known film still brought in $36 million. Risen is a fictional tale of a Roman tribune who is sent to investigate the disappearance of Christ. A seasoned soldier, Clavius the tribune sets off to uncover the mysteries of early Christianity, discovering his own truth in the process.