Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the filmmaker brothers behind War Room, say they are still in shock over the success of their faith-based film, which has defied expectations by raking in over $30 million at the box office in under two weeks.
Yet, the brothers are more interested in bridging War Room to Scripture rather than in ticket sales. The pair hopes that the companion book to the film, The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies (B&H, August), acts as a “discipleship guide” that can inspire War Room audiences even after the film is over.
“We are ministers. We know the feeling will fade,” Stephen Kendrick told PW. “People will walk out [of the theater] feeling good, but if they are not on a path of transformation by renewing their minds, the fruit will be limited.”
In addition to the Kendricks’ book tie-in to War Room, Priscilla Shirer’s Fervent: A Woman’s Guide to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer (B&H, Aug.) is also available to fans of the film. Shirer, who is well known for her books such as Discerning the Voice of God (Moody, 2014), also starred in War Room, marking her acting debut.
While the Kendricks’ Battle Plan for Prayer and Shirer’s Fervent are being published at B&H, Tyndale published Chris Fabry’s novelization of War Room as part of a marketing strategy, said Stephen. “It can help [to] have the marketing dollars pooled with Tyndale, B&H, and the movie all working together when you have retail partners like Walmart or Target that sometimes limit the amount of materials from one publisher,” he said.
Since their releases, Battle Plan for Prayer, Fervent, and War Room have sold a combined 75,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan. Each of the War Room resources has appeared on PW’s Top 25 Trade bestsellers lists in recent weeks.
War Room marks the highest film debut for the Kendrick brothers, earning $11 million in its first weekend despite playing in only 1,135 theaters. The Kendricks have previously collaborated on films such as Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Fly Wheel.