*”The Star” DVD and Blu-ray arrived February 20, and on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes February 6 from Sony Pictures Animation. The computer-animated adventure film directed by Timothy Reckart is based on the Nativity of Jesus and has grossed over $62 million worldwide. It also received a nomination for Best Original Song (“The Star”) at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.
“The movie was an audience pleaser for sure,” says “Miracles From Heaven” producer DeVon Franklin, whose Franklin Entertainment teamed with Sony, along with Walden Media, Affirm Films and The Jim Henson Company, to bring this classic Christian tale to the big screen.
“You can always tell the success of a film by the multiple and what I mean by that is, whatever your opening weekend number, your multiple is ultimately where you end up for the domestic box office. Some films usually have 2 or 2 1/2 multiple from opening weekend, we had over a 4 multiple. So we did four times what we did opening weekend, which is always a good indicator that the audience loves it, that they’re talking about it. So I’m just grateful that people have responded to it so positively,” he added.
“The Star” features the voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey.
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During our previous conversation with Mr. Franklin, he described Oprah and Tyler Perry as “humble” and “open” and noted that “so much of what the film is-is because they were just so giving of their talent and that was such a blessing.”
“With Oprah and Tyler, I’m blessed to know them personally and I reached out to them personally and asked them, “Would you be a part of this?” and both of them, without hesitance, they both said “yes,” and that means so much to me, and I think it speaks so much to who they really are,” he said.
“Them agreeing to do the movie, and all the extra stuff they did during production, was so generous that I’m pretty sure we’re covered” when it comes to DVD extras featuring the two media moguls.
When asked if “The Star” has challenged him personally — especially in the area of faith, the renowned preacher and motivational speaker explained: “Every movie is a miracle. Every movie is a challenge. Every movie that gets made is a challenge to my faith and an affirmation of it. And “The Star” was certainly no exception. It was really a blessing that we had the opportunity to get it done and it reminded me that God is in the plan and we just gotta keep going.”
For the DVD special features, Franklin is most proud of the 12 kids he spoke to about the film, saying: “it was almost like teaching a Sunday school lesson. It was great to see their reaction to the movie, what they responded to. It was amazing.”
Adding, “That’s really one of the featured extras that I think parents and kids are going to love because you really get a chance to see how the themes of the movie are relevant year round and you really get a chance to see how the kids are so perceptive and so much of what they see, we don’t think it registers but it really does and we can have a tremendous impact.”
Franklin says “Just the ability to re-tell the story of Jesus and introduce the story of the birth of Jesus to a new audience in a completely different and original way is probably the most gratifying for me. It’s a tremendous accomplishment. When I think back to the impact that I wanted to have in the industry when I first got started and to be able to get a movie like “The Star” done is just deeply gratifying.”
His next project, “The Impossible,” stars Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”), and it’s an adaptation of Joyce Smith’s book, “The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection,” which is based on her remarkable true story.
“The Impossible is my next film and it comes out next spring and I start production on it at the end of March. It’s the true story of a mother who prayed her dead son back to life. Chrissy Metz from “This Is Us,” is starring as the lead and I’m so proud. She has that emotion and connectivity that we knew would add to the movie and elevate it in a profound way. I’m just so excited to be able to work with her.”
According to Deadline, Metz will star as Joyce, whose-14-year old son fell through a frozen lake in Missouri one winter and was proclaimed lifeless. Through prayer and faith, Joyce sat by her son’s bedside until his heart started beating again.”