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Hollywood plays to the faithful, finds hits with God

Published on Apr 21, 2014 7:00 AM

(REUTERS) - Hollywood has embraced God in a big - and lucrative - way.

The movie Heaven Is For Real, which depicts the story of a young boy who claims to have visited heaven during a near death experience, is the fourth faith-based film this year to stir movie-going audiences with impressive box office numbers.

Made for US$12 million (S$15 million), the film, which stars Greg Kinnear, collected US$21.5 million over the Easter weekend in US and Canadian theatres, finishing third at the box office behind bigger budget films Captain America: The Winter Soldier from Walt Disney and Rio 2 from Fox.

Two other Christian-based films also cracked the top 10. Noah, from Viacom's Paramount Pictures, stars Russell Crowe as the biblical figure and was ninth. It has generated more than US$93 million at domestic theatres since opening in March, according to the site Box Office Mojo. God's Not Dead, about a religious freshman college student who debates his professor over the existence of God, was 10th and has totalled US$48 million over five weeks, despite playing in only about half the numbers of theatres of Hollywood's larger films.

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