Is the big box office gamble of ‘The Chosen’ paying off?

A still from “The Chosen” Season 4.
A still from “The Chosen” Season 4. | Mike Kubeisy, The Chosen

In an age where streaming services make watching entertainment instantaneous, putting out an entire season of a show in theaters might seem like a big gamble. Can you get people through the door if they know the show will appear on streaming eventually?

But that’s just what the historical drama “The Chosen” set out to do with Season 4.

The numbers from Box Office Mojo have rolled in from the past weekend and the show ranked second overall. It opened with just shy of $6 million and as of Sunday, its domestic gross sits at $7.37 million. Those numbers are across 2,280 theaters. “Argylle,” a spy action thriller, took the No. 1 slot, opening with $17.4 million over the weekend at 3,605 theaters.

“Obviously we’re thrilled with our second-place finish as a 3+ hour TV show in theaters. But even better were the reports of full rooms sitting in silence through the closing credits because they were so moved,” Dallas Jenkins, the show’s creator, said in a statement sent to the Deseret News.

It’s worth remembering that the show will have two more tests to go through as there are two more batches of episodes coming out, but it’s a strong early start. Episodes 4 to 6 will premiere on Feb. 15 followed by Episodes 7 and 8 on Feb. 29.

The show has a similar runtime to your typical Martin Scorsese film, which is to say that it goes three hours long. Getting an audience in the theater for a long program can be difficult. These numbers are showing that there’s a core audience of the show who is willing to do just that.

“I’m always gratified when audiences connect with the show as much as I do. We are working with the greatest source material ever created — our show is exalting of the Bible and we do not waver from it,” Jenkins said in a release. “At the same time, we have the opportunity to fill in the blanks as we create a television show, and we try to do that by bringing our personal experiences with human behavior to show maybe why something happened the way it did. When that kind of emotional storytelling connects, there’s no better feeling.”

Season 3 was something of an experiment in theatrical releases for “The Chosen.” The show released the first two episodes in theaters and had a strong opening of $8.7 million. That weekend, it ranked third overall. It went on to gross over $14 million in its run across 2,021 theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. The finale for that season hit theaters and had a more modest opening of $3.6 million with a $5.5 million gross across 1,979 theaters.

Related

‘The Chosen’ Season 4 reviews

The Deseret News reviewed Season 4 of “The Chosen,” but here’s a look at what a couple of other reviewers had to say about the show.

  • Collider: “The first few episodes stand strong on their own, even divorced from the greater narrative, and build on one another. The cast is great as always and the wonder of which biblical tales will show up next is thrilling. Season 4 is off to a pretty good start, and the show’s impressive longevity and devoted creatives seem to have some good stuff up their sleeves.”

  • Religion Unplugged: “Overall, this new season of ‘The Chosen’ is its strongest one since the first. If it can build on this with the rest of the season, then it’s possible — as hard as it might be to believe — that Season 4 might be the best to date.”

When will Season 4 of ‘The Chosen’ be available to stream?

Streaming dates for Season 4 have not yet been announced. The show is expected to be in theaters going into March.