Watch: Actors and audiences discuss The Young Messiah

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The Young Messiah had a softer opening than expected last week, but the filmmakers have said they hope it’ll stay afloat between now and Easter — and to that end, they have released a few new promotional videos. Check ’em out below the jump.

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The Young Messiah: the Cyrus Nowrasteh interview round-up

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The Young Messiah is now in theatres. Two days ago I collected some of the interviews that producer Chris Columbus has done to promote the film. Now it’s time to round up some of the interviews that co-writer/director Cyrus Nowrasteh has done.

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Box-office update: Noah might get edged out of the top ten, Heaven Is for Real does better than expected, Son of God and God’s Not Dead begin to see some action overseas

Noah may or may not be in the top ten in this, its fourth week of release.

Deadline reports that Noah is virtually tied with God’s Not Dead and newcomer Disneynature’s Bears for the #9 spot, with a weekend haul of $4.8 million each. Box Office Mojo gives Noah the edge with an estimated $5 million, while Leonard Klady says God’s Not Dead is well behind the other two, with only $4.3 million.

In any case, one of those films will end up outside the top ten, in the #11 spot, when the final figures are released tomorrow. If Noah turns out to be that film, then it would have one more thing in common with Son of God, box-office-wise, as that film fell out of the North American top ten in its fourth week of release, too.

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Is seeing a Bible movie on opening weekend more important than going to church? Is it a way of “honouring God”?

How eager were certain people to make Son of God a box-office hit? Pretty eager, I’d say.

Rick Warren declared, in a video touting one of the “theatre takeovers” that took place Thursday night, that Christians should “skip church and go see” the film on opening weekend, because “it’s that important.”

And on Saturday, Paul Lauer at Motive Entertainment, a Christian marketing firm, sent out an e-mail telling people: [Read more…]

Comment: Passion ‘softened’, and John comes to the screen

IS MEL Gibson yielding to criticism over his death-of-Christ movie The Passion? In some ways, it seems he might be.

Earlier this year, Gibson told reporters Holly McClure and Raymond Arroyo in on-the-set interviews that his film made significant use of the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, a 19th-century stigmatic nun. He even cited his seemingly accidental discovery of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a published record of her visions, as a sign that he had been specially called to make his film.

But after Jewish and Catholic scholars expressed concern over the allegedly anti-Semitic contents of Emmerich’s visions, Paul Lauer, the director of marketing for Gibson’s production company, denied that Gibson had based his film on them.

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