RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A movie based on the biblical story of Moses is expected to become the most-watched Brazilian film in the country’s history.
Pre-sales alone for “Os Dez Mandamentos,” a literal translation to Portuguese of “The Ten Commandments,” have reached 2.4 million tickets, which is much more than most Brazilian blockbusters after several weeks of screening. The film, which opens Thursday in Brazil, is expected to outnumber “Elite Troop 2,” the 2010 blockbuster that had 11 million viewers.
The nearly two-hour epic brings to the big screen a summary of the successful prime-time TV soap opera of the same name that aired in 2015. Set in ancient Egypt and loosely based on the story of Moses, “Os Dez Mandamentos” features characters based on biblical figures, while others are created.
Brazil’s second most-watched TV channel, Record, produced the film and soap opera. The channel is owned by the founder of one of Brazil’s main Pentecostal churches, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
Pastors reportedly have been encouraging their congregants to see the film. The soap opera drew 144 million spectators daily in Brazil, which has the largest Catholic population in the world.