- (Photo: YouTube / 20th Century Fox Screenshot)
Actress and producer Roma Downey said in a recent interview that her new film "Son of God' is already changing lives after having a successful opening weekend at the box office.
Downey, who co-produced the Christian film with her husband Mark Burnett, said in a recent interview that she is already hearing testimony of how the film has affected viewers, specifically in educating youth on Jesus' life.
"Entire families are attending 'Son of God' together and sharing it with their own kids. Parents are using the film as a conversation starter to help bring the story of Jesus to life for their children," Downey told The Blaze this week. "We are hearing stories that are incredibly touching and healing."
In its opening weekend at the box office, the film earned a total of $25.6 million, trailing only behind "Non-Stop," an action-thriller starring actor Liam Neeson. Downey and Burnett had distinguished success with their record-breaking History Channel miniseries "The Bible," and their new film "Son of God" plays off footage from the series with added deleted scenes.
Those involved with the film, including actor Diogo Morgado and the producers, have been clear in stating that the purpose of the film is to spread the message of Jesus Christ among all demographics for years to come. Burnett, who has produced such hit reality shows as "Survivor" and "Shark Tank," said in an interview with TheWrap that he believes the film will be viewed by "a billion people" in the next several years.
"This movie is going to be seen by a billion people over the next three or four years, so a big opening would be great, but this is very much a long-term proposition."
In previous interviews, Brazilian actor Diogo Morgado, who plays Jesus in the movie, has also reflected on the immense responsibility he has in his role, telling "Good Morning America" that he thinks the film will have an especially important impact on children.
"We live in a visual world now. Kids can learn a lot by seeing things rather than reading it. So I really understood the responsibility," Morgado said. "There's a lot of people out there, a lot of kids especially. They don't know who exactly Jesus was. So this is actually a tool that can teach these kids about why Jesus was who he was and why the Bible was the most important book."
This past weekend, "Son of God" proved to be the second biggest opening for a Christian movie behind Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," released in 2004.