American cinemas were overwhelmed with demand for tickets after Dallas Jenkins, creator of The Chosen TV series, announced on social media on Wednesday that a Christmas special episode would be screened in theatres across the US on December 1 and 2.
“Not only did you shatter the single-day record for Fathom Events, theaters across the country responded by adding more dates and times. We’ll have more info soon, but for now, we just wanted to say, ‘Thank you,’” Jenkins said in a Facebook post.
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He counselled the show’s American enthusiasts to follow Mary’s advice in the trailer: “Don’t be afraid.” Cinemas were so swamped by the demand, they promised to add new theatres and showtimes, he said.
Crossroad Distributors, one of Australia’s leading distributors of Christian products, is hoping to negotiate an Australian theatrical release of Christmas With The Chosen.
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Crossroads general manager Bill Biddle said another week’s worth of screenings have already been added to the US release.
The Chosen, a series that richly portrays the life of Jesus through the eyes of those who met him, has garnered more than 100 million views for Seasons 1 and 2. To put that in perspective, the final episode of the cult TV series Friends attracted 52.5 million viewers.
Naturally enough, the special Christmas episode dramatises the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. Also featured is a lineup of noted musicians performing new and classic Christmas songs from the set of The Chosen, including: Phil Wickham, For King & Country, Brandon Lake, Maverick City, Cain, Matt Maher, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Jordan Feliz, We The Kingdom, The Bonner Family, Leanna Crawford, Dawson Hollow, and One Voice Choir.
Explaining the move on Facebook, Jenkins said: “Why would we produce a brand-new episode of The Chosen? What would be important enough for us to put our Christmas Special in theaters, the first time we’ve ever done that?”
“Quite simply: ‘Born that men no more may die. I believe the birth of Christ to be the single greatest moment in human history when God became one of us in the most surprising way imaginable. Humbly. And He did it as an act of rescue, which makes the circumstances even more amazing.”
Jenkins, who is the son of Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the Left Behind series, said The Chosen began with a little Christmas short film he did for his church, “so in many ways, we’re returning to our roots with this episode.”
“This is in every way an official Chosen episode, but it doesn’t require seeing the first two seasons to understand and appreciate it, so I hope you’ll invite your friends to join you at the theater.
“With this episode and a dozen amazing artists performing Christmas songs, I’m confident ‘Christmas With The Chosen’ will give you a unique and impactful Christmas experience.”