Open main menu

Heaven Is for Real is a 2014 American Christian drama film[3] written and directed by Randall Wallace and co-written by Christopher Parker, based on Pastor Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent's 2010 book of the same name. The film stars Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Margo Martindale, and Thomas Haden Church. The soundtrack of the film contains Darlene Zschech's song "Heaven in Me".[4] The film was released on April 16, 2014.

Heaven Is for Real
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRandall Wallace
Produced byJoe Roth
T. D. Jakes
Devon Franklin
Screenplay byRandall Wallace
Christopher Parker
Based onHeaven Is for Real
by Todd Burpo
and Lynn Vincent
StarringGreg Kinnear
Kelly Reilly
Connor Corum
Margo Martindale
Thomas Haden Church
Music byNick Glennie-Smith
CinematographyDean Semler
Edited byJohn Wright
Distributed bySony Pictures Entertainment
Release date
  • April 16, 2014 (2014-04-16)
Running time
99 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[2]
Box office$101.3 million[2]

The film has received mixed critical reviews, but nevertheless was a box office success, grossing $101 million against a $12 million budget, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing Christian film in the United States.[5]


Four-year-old Colton Burpo (Connor Corum) is the son of Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear), pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska. Colton says he experienced Heaven during an emergency surgery. He describes to his incredulous family about having seen the surgeon operating, his mother calling people in the waiting room to pray, and his father in another room yelling at God to not let him die. He also speaks of incidents with people he never met or knew about: meeting a great-grandfather who had died long before he was born, an unborn sister he never knew about who had died in a miscarriage, and having met Jesus.

Colton speaks about his experiences in Heaven, and Todd is faced with the dilemma of determining the legitimacy of his son's experience. Todd's wariness about discussing the situation erodes the confidence of the board members of his church, and he is contacted by several members of the media. When Todd is called by a radio station for an impromptu on-air interview, he invites them to attend his sermon the following Sunday. At church, he preaches about his son's experiences and reveals his support for him.

Following the events at the church, Todd is doing research on the Internet and finds a story about a Lithuanian girl who had a similar experience. Her recall of Jesus was identical to that of Colton. Todd tries to speak to Colton further about the experience but he is interrupted by his wife revealing that she is pregnant with another child. Photos of Colton and his family are shown in the present day.


Production and developmentEdit

In May 2011, Sony Pictures acquired the film rights of the book Heaven Is for Real. It was announced that Joe Roth would be producing the film with T. D. Jakes for the TriStar Pictures division of Sony Pictures.[8] On August 23, 2012 Braveheart writer and Secretariat director Randall Wallace signed on to direct.[9]

On March 19, 2013, it was announced that Greg Kinnear was in talks to star, and he later joined the cast.[6] On April 15, 2013, actress Kelly Reilly joined the film.[7]

On July 17, it was reported that composer Nick Glennie-Smith would score the film,[10] and behind the scenes, the director of photography was Dean Semler.[11]

Shooting began in the last week of July 2013 in Selkirk, Manitoba.[4]


The film was released on April 16, 2014 and held a 3,048 theater count through its 4th week.[10]


Box officeEdit

At the end of box office run, the Heaven Is for Real earned a gross of $91,443,253 in North America and $9,026,536 in other territories for a worldwide total of $100,469,789 against a budget of $12 million.[12]

The film grossed $3.7 million on its opening day. It went on to gross a total of $22.5 million in its opening weekend, playing in 2,417 theaters for a $9,318 per-theatre average finishing in second behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The biggest markets in other territories were Mexico, Poland, and Colombia where the film grossed $1.9 million, $1.4 million, and $1.2 million, respectively.[13]

Critical responseEdit

Heaven Is for Real received mixed reviews. The film holds a 49% "rotten" rating on the film aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 83 reviews, with an average score of 5.5/10. The site's consensus states, "Heaven Is for Real boasts a well-written screenplay and a talented cast, but overextends itself with heavy-handed sequences depicting concepts it could have trusted the audience to take on faith."[14] On another website, Metacritic, it has a 47/100 score (indicating "mixed or average"), based on reviews from 27 critics.[15]

In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

Jeb Lund, a columnist for The Guardian,[17] expressed skepticism about the depiction of the story in the film. The red markers which Colton Burpo claims Jesus had on his hands and feet are well known. The boy could have easily guessed his minister father would have been praying or nursing staff could have told him.[18]


List of awards and nominations
Award Category Recipient Result Ref(s)
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Drama Heaven is for Real Nominated [19]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie Heaven is for Real Nominated [20][21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (PG)". Columbia Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Heaven Is for Real". Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Heaven Is for Real (2014)". IMDB.
  4. ^ a b c "'Heaven Is for Real' movie starts filming in Canada". July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  5. ^ "Christian Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Greg Kinnear in Talks to Star in Sony's 'Heaven Is for Real'". March 19, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Kelly Reilly Lands Lead In Sony Drama 'Heaven Is For Real'". April 15, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  8. ^ "'Heaven Is For Real' Headed For Movie Adaptation Through Sony Pictures, Joe Roth And T.D. Jakes". May 9, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "'Braveheart' Writer Randall Wallace Believes 'Heaven Is For Real'". August 24, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Nick Glennie-Smith to Score Randall Wallace's 'Heaven Is for Real'". July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  11. ^ "TriStar Pictures' 'HEAVEN IS FOR REAL' begins production". July 17, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "Heaven is for Real (2014)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "Heaven is for Real international box office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Heaven Is for Real (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  15. ^ "Heaven Is for Real". Metacritic. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Weekend Report: 'Captain' Three-peats, 'Heaven' Rises Over Easter Weekend". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  17. ^ Jeb Lund. "Jeb Lund". the Guardian. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "How Hollywood Screwed Up a Simple Tale of a Four-Year-Old Going to Heaven and Coming Back - VICE - United States". VICE. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  19. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (August 10, 2014). "Teen Choice Awards: The Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  20. ^ Nominees Full List
  21. ^ People's Choice Awards 2015: The winner's list, Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved January 8, 2015

External linksEdit