The Box Office has released the information we all have been waiting for. And despite what the gospel industry expected, The Gospel, a dramatic motion picture based on Gospel music and deals "knowledgeably with the role of the church in black communities", finished at #5 for its opening week rather than parking at #1. The cast features Hollywood known celebrities including Boris Kodjoe, Nona Gaye, Omar Gooding, Clifton Powell and some of Gospel's popular giants including Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Hezekiah Walker. The Christian community began to embrace the movie when first announced and hoped the movie would achieve the success that Passion Of The Christ, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman and The Fighting Temptations created.
The Passion... debuted at #1
Diary Of A Mad Black Woman debuted at #1
The Fighting Temptations debuted at #3
The Gospel reached #5.
That's not bad at all, especially when you compare this movie with its predecessors.
Check out some of the comments by the serious critics on the movie and see if you agree.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"'The Gospel" is the first mainstream movie I can remember that deals knowledgeably with the role of the church in African-American communities. It is not a particularly religious movie; the characters are believers, but the movie is not so much about faith and prayer as about the economic and social function of a church: How it operates as a stabilizing force, a stage for personalities, an arena for power struggles, and an enterprise which must cover its costs or go out of business."
Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"...a heartfelt but muddled melodrama..."
Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-constitution
"...a preachy soap opera about Saturday night and Sunday morning."
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The Gospel may not surprise us, but it's a likeable movie done with verve and style."
Laura Kern, New York Times
"Unlike actual soulful and infectious live church services, this muddled film probably won't inspire people to jump out of their seats."
More mementos from The Gospel below. Enjoy.