'Son of God'
‘Son of God’ attracting the faithful and movie-lovers in NHAPRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
February 26. 2014 4:35PM
LONDONDERRY — With the much-publicized film “Son of God” premiering Friday, anticipation is growing amongst the faithful in New Hampshire.
The Biblical drama is based on the popular History Channel miniseries, “The Bible,” produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and incorporates selections of the miniseries as well as scenes that weren’t included in the televised version.
With a soundtrack of songs by U2, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, “Son of God” brings the life and times of Jesus Christ, from birth to death, onto the silver screen.
Thirty-four year old Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado has the starring role in the film, which is the first motion picture about Jesus Christ to be released since Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” a decade ago.
Advance tickets for public showings of the film at both the Londonderry and Epping locations of O’neil Cinemas went on sale about two weeks ago, according to general manager Jennifer Conley, who said overall sales have been booming.
Conley said the company has also been reaching out to area churches, youth groups and religious schools to boost bookings of private film screenings at its larger, newer Epping facility, which has more seating and plenty of parking spaces.
As of early this week, Conley said quite a few churches around the state had taken them up on their offer, including North Ridge Church in Derry, Christ Church in Exeter, the First Congregational Church of Kingston, the Raymond Baptist Church and a youth group from the St. Francis of Assisi Parish & School in Litchfield.
“Every now and then you’ll see a film come along that looks really good and appeals to specific crowds,” Conley said. “People are definitely talking about this one.”
Among the other New Hampshire theaters to offer showings of “Son of God” are Regal Cinema 12 in Newington, Regal Cinema10 in Concord, Cinemagic in Merrimack, Derry Flagship Cinema 12 and Chunky’s Cinema Pubs in Nashua and Pelham.
A group of 215 members of the Salem-based Granite United Church will be attending a private screening of the film at Showcase Cinemas in Lawrence, Mass., Sunday evening.
Granite United Church hosts some of its satellite worship services inside the Massachusetts cinema.
Courtland Holloway, campus developer of the mega-church (which hosts worship services in Londonderry and Salem as well as Lawrence and Haverhill, Mass.), said there’s much excitement brewing over the movie’s debut.
“We’re pretty pumped about it,” Holloway said on Tuesday. “After watching the Bible series on television, we felt it was very well done and quite accurate.”
Tickets to the private showing were made available via the church’s Facebook page and Holloway said the event sold out quickly.
“The movie has definitely caught the attention of the younger crowd and families,” he added, noting that the local church is in the process of planning a new sermon series for late March based on the “Son of God” film.
At Christ Church in Exeter, advance ticket sales for a private March 14 screening in Epping began about a week ago, according to church spokeswoman Sarah Watts.
Watts said tickets are being sold to both her Christ Church parishioners and members of outside parishes and the greater community. A proceed of Christ Church’s ticket sales will be donated to World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine fundraiser, which assists famine victims around the world.
“People are really interested in this movie,” Watts said. “There’s been a lot of hype about it, in general.”
For more information on upcoming film screenings and times, visit www.sonofgodmovie.com.