Faith-based filmmaker Jon Erwin set a movie industry record over the weekend when his new film Jesus Revolution recorded an A+ CinemaScore, making him the first director ever to receive four perfect scores.
Erwin previously notched A+ CinemaScores for Woodlawn (2015), I Can Only Imagine (2018) and American Underdog(2021). He co-directed all three with his brother, Andrew Erwin.
Only three directors in filmmaking history have earned three A+ CinemaScores: Alex Kendrick for Overcomer (2019), War Room (2015) and Courageous (2011); Rob Reiner for The Princess Bride (1987), When Harry Met Sally (1989) and A Few Good Men (1992); and Andrew Erwin for the three titles mentioned above.
CinemaScore was founded in 1978 and began publicly releasing the data in 1986. It polls moviegoers on a film’s opening weekend and asks them to grade titles they’ve seen.
Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg has directed two movies that received an A+ score: E.T. (1982) and Schindler’s List (1993).
Erwin co-directed Jesus Revolution with Brent McCorkle. It was made by Kingdom Story Company.
“Jon Erwin has now achieved four A+ CinemaScores, more than any other filmmaker since we have been compiling data,” said Harold Mintz, president of CinemaScore. “For a director to achieve that accomplishment once is a rarity. But to hit that mark four times is not only an incredible distinction – it’s unprecedented. Congratulations to Jon and Brent McCorkle and the entire team at Kingdom Story Company.”
Erwin told Christian Headlines that he became interested in the Jesus Revolution story while standing on the set of Woodlawn in 2014. That film, too, was set in the 1970s.
“That’s where I first held that Jesus Revolution Time Magazine cover (from 1971), written five years after the first Time cover (from 1966) with no pictures asked, ‘Is God Dead?’ … I’ve been passionate about that story ever since,” Erwin told Christian Headlines.
There are similarities, Erwin said, between today’s polarized culture and the polarized culture of the 1960s/70s.
“The message for today is that there’s hope – all that we’re going through right now, we faced a similar time, and a similar moment [in the 60s/70s], and God showed up in this nation with the most unlikely people amongst the hippies,” Erwin told Christian Headlines. “… The heartbeat of [the film] is God can do this again – this could happen again. And we’re in such a similar moment. This is the answer to the problems that we’re dealing with. If we found it before, we can find it again.”
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Photo courtesy: ©Kingdom Story Company, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.