Kanye West has been busy at work, as the rapper premiered both his ninth studio album and his IMAX film, ‘Jesus Is King’ on Friday. The 35-minute short film has reportedly raked in over $1.03 million at this weekend’s box office, according to Variety.
West partnered with Imax to create the short film, which gives viewers a rare look inside the Chicago rapper’s Sunday Service. The gospel music-themed film reportedly features 13 songs performed by a 50-member gospel choir, which includes Ye’s biggest hits, as well as three new songs.
Imax’s president, Megan Colligan, told Variety that ‘Jesus Is King’ is allowing IMAX Entertainment to explore alternate ways of creating exclusive events. “We saw an opportunity to create a cultural moment with a visionary artist in a way that expands the IMAX brand, while surprising audiences and experimenting with what we can bring to our platform beyond blockbusters,” she stated.
Nick Knight, who directed the film, says the film is not about Kanye, but it’s instead about worship, which is a universal thing. He also explained Kanye didn’t want to be center stage, “He certainly didn’t want to be ‘Kanye West, the star of this film,'” Knight said. “It was a lack of ego and modest humility that was paramount to him in this film.”
’Jesus Is King’ debuted in 21 cities around the world, including Chicago, where the rapper grew up, Los Angeles, London, Copenhagen, and Melbourne. According to Variety, it was played in limited showings, but IMAX says it plans on expanding the film to 78 additional foreign territories on November 8.
In addition, Kanye’s album is projected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.