FARMINGTON — Pastor Benny Cogburn of Kingdom Connection Cowboy Church took his wife to see "Son of God" about a week ago in Farmington and said he was disappointed in the film.
Cogburn said the movie wasn't as realistic as other biblical films, such as "The Passion of the Christ."
The 20th Century Fox feature film tells the story of Jesus from his birth through his resurrection. The movie, which was released Feb. 28, is currently playing at Animas 10 Theater in Farmington.
Cogburn said he did not like that certain parts of the biblical story, such as the devil tempting Jesus, were left out of the movie. While Cogburn said he wishes the movie followed the biblical story more closely, he said he appreciates that Hollywood created a movie about Jesus.
"I'm glad anytime they use Hollywood to preach the Gospel because we need the Gospel to be preached," said Cogburn, the head on the Christian church of U.S. Highway 64 in Farmington.
Cogburn was also disappointed in the film's attendance. He said when "The Passion of the Christ" was released in 2004, he waited a week to see it because tickets were sold out for the movie.
But when Cogburn went to see "Son of God," only about a dozen other people were in the theater. He said that's hopefully not a reflection of the community.
"I hope that the Four Corners area is hungry for God," he said.
Nationwide, the film has had some success. In its opening weekend, it earned nearly $26 million, according to Box Office Mojo. It's currently ranked No. 7 in the box office earnings.
For the sake of comparison, "The Passion of the Christ," which is directed by Mel Gibson and stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus, earned nearly $84 million in its opening weekend. It was ranked the No. 1 film for 35 non-consecutive weeks.
When "Passion of the Christ" was released 10 years ago, Cogburn was living in Las Cruces, where he led two congregations. He challenged his congregations, as a form of evangelizing, to see the film with people who were not believers.
Cogburn said he saw the movie with a man who was Catholic but did not have a strong relationship with God.
When the two men walked out of the theater, Cogburn said his friend "gave his life to the Lord in the parking lot."
Cogburn said many members of his congregations at the time experienced similar results. But he has not seen this effect with "Son of God."
Still, Cogburn is looking forward to the release of "Noah" next week. The biblical epic film, which is directed by Darren Aronofsky and stars Russell Crowe, opens next Friday.
Cogburn said he hopes the film shows the consequences of not obeying God and the rewards God gives those who are loyal to him.
"People need to be shocked into reality," he said.
While the Rev. James Moore, the bishop of St. Jude's Holy Catholic Church in Farmington, had not yet seen "Son of God" when reached by The Daily Times earlier this week, he said he has watched the television miniseries "The Bible," which the movie is based on.
He said he hopes directors of biblical films such as "Son of God" and "Noah" refrain from improvisation and adhere to the Bible.
"My opinion is if they can tell the story and tell it right as it is in scripture, it's a good thing," he said.
IF YOU GO
What: Screenings of “Son of God”
Showings: Daily at 11:45 a.m., 3 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Animas 10 Theater, 4601 East Main St., Farmington
More info: Go to www.allentheatresinc.com.