Category Archives: Hank Erwin

Is “WOODLAWN” the Next WAR ROOM? We’ll see…

This is the season for faith-based, explicitly Christian movies.  War Room was first in the box office one week (it’s second week, beating out Straight Outta Compton) and has now taken in over $60m (Check out how well Heaven Is For Real did)!  (And there are others:  Captive garnered about $2.5m and 90 Minutes in Heaven was nearly at $5m!)

Now we have Woodlawn – based on a true story – how Christian love can help heal racial divisions.  It places the South in a positive light, glorifies Jesus, and even has Bear Bryant (Jon Voight has the role of the legendary Alabama football coach) in a small part of the show.

Here is a review of the movie from The Hollywood Reporter – a very favorable review, if I might say:

The Erwin brothers, who have a personal stake in the material–their father, Hank Erwin, is the real-life chaplain played by Astin–lay on the religiosity on a bit thick, occasionally sacrificing credibility and coherence in the process. But the film largely succeeds in achieving its modest goals, delivering a feel-good, real-life inspirational story in a mostly engaging fashion. With its well-staged gridiron sequences and solid ensemble performances, Woodlawn may even manage to lure viewers away from their televised football games over the next couple of weeks.

I am not familiar with the Erwin brothers (Mom’s Night Out, October Baby) but their movies so far are Christian for sure. Here’s a early box office prediction:

That leaves one final new release vying for attention. Pure Flix will attempt to bring out the faith-based crowds who recently turned “War Room” into an unexpected smash, when they debut “Woodlawn” on 1,500 screens. The picture centers on a high school football team that makes an unlikely playoff run following a spiritual awakening among its players. It should do $4 million in its opening weekend. Pure Flix did not provide budget information.

Box Office Mojo’s analysis is a bit better:  Five million.  Did I hear six?  Or Seven?

Maybe people can get out and “scare” the Halloween fare away a bit with a nice surprising turnout for a believing movie!  I probably can’t do it this weekend or next but I’ll try (Lord willing) for the 31st.

I am pleased with the level and variety of faith-based movies today.  If I had a few million for a faith-based movie production, I’d do a movie about Ernest Manning (No not Peyton and Eli’s father – that’s Archie Manning!) the Premier of Alberta (think state governor in a parliamentary system) for 25 years and also preached on the radio every Sunday afternoon (Back to the Bible Hour Canada) how did such a guy get his start?  Well, I take you back to 1935 – the height of the Depression…


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders