Today (April 9) marks the 15th anniversary of the theatrical premiere of Flywheel, the first movie from two brothers who wanted to impact the world with good stories.
The Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, have gone on to achieve unprecedented commercial success for their faith-based movies and books.
Here is a look back at the past 15 years of their ministry.
November — Production begins on Flywheel with members of Sherwood Baptist Church, where the Kendrick Brothers were on staff, serving as volunteer cast and crew.
April 9 — Flywheel premieres at a Carmike Theater in Albany, Georgia. The film ultimately grosses $37,000 in theaters.
September 29 — Facing the Giants debuts in theaters. Despite opening on only 441 screens, it places 12th for the week with $1.3 million. It goes on to gross more than $10.1 million.
January 30 — Facing the Giants is released on DVD and becomes the best-selling Christian DVD of the year. It has generated more than $41.2 million in sales.
October — Principal photography for Fireproof begins with a cast and crew of 1,200 volunteers.
November 13 — Flywheel releases on DVD. It eventually sells more than a million copies worldwide.
September 26 — Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, premieres in theaters. It becomes the first of the brothers’ films to really surprise Hollywood, debuting at No. 4 for the weekend box office. It becomes the highest grossing independent film of 2008, reaching nearly $33.5 million.
September 28 — The Love Dare, a marriage devotional featured in Fireproof, releases. It sells more than 5 million copies and is on The New York Times best-seller list for 131 weeks, reaching No. 1 twice.
January 27 — Fireproof is released to DVD (and to Blu-ray on September 29). It has generated more than $59.8 million in sales.
February 18 — The soundtrack for Fireproof is nominated for a Dove Award for Special Event Album of the Year.
April 26 — Principal photography begins for the Kendricks’ next film: Courageous.
Andrew and Jon Erwin, another set of brothers, work on Courageous with the Kendricks and then set out to make their own films. The Erwins have since made October Baby, Moms’ Night Out, Woodlawn, and the surprise hit of 2018, I Can Only Imagine.
September 30 — Courageous is released in theaters, grossing $9.1 million its opening weekend. It’s the top new release at the box office that weekend and finishes fourth overall.
The film also opens in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. In total, it grosses almost $35.2 million, more than 17 times its production budget.
January 17 — The DVD and Blu-ray of Courageous are the top selling in the U.S. with a total of more than $25 million in sales.
March 1 — Alex Kendrick appears in the children’s adventure movie The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone.
October 15 — Courageous wins the first-ever Dove Award for Inspirational Film of the Year.
May 9 — The Erwin brothers’ Moms’ Night Out debuts in theaters. Alex Kendrick appears in the film.
Summer — Over a three-month period, War Room is filmed in several North Carolina locations.
August 28 — War Room opens in theaters and immediately begins shattering expectations.
It finishes second its opening weekend with almost $11.4 million, more than double initial projections.
In its second weekend at the box office, War Room surges to first. Over its entire U.S. run, the film makes almost $67.8 million—the sixth highest box office ever for a Christian film, according to Box Office Mojo.
War Room also makes more than $6 million at the international box office, with $2 million of that coming from Brazil.
December 22 — Similarly to its box office run, War Room debuts at second in the home video chart its first weekend, before reaching the top spot in its second weekend available.
In total, domestic DVD and Blu-ray sales have generated almost $44.5 million.
October 11 — War Room wins the Dove Award for Inspirational Film of the Year.
May 1 — The brothers serve as executive producers for Like Arrows, a movie event from Family Life. Alex also is a writer and actor in the film.
Soon — The next Kendrick brothers’ film is set to begin shooting. The yet-unnamed movie is said to “unpack a pivotal issue in the life of students and adults alike” and is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2019.
What’s your favorite movie from the Kendrick brothers? How has their ministry impacted you?