HOUSTON -

The movie "Son of God" is being shown at a variety of multiplexes nationwide Thursday, the movie officially opens Friday.

It's the first movie about the entire life of Jesus Christ produced in decades. The highly anticipated movie is produced by husband and wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. They are good friends of Joel and Victoria Osteen of Lakewood Church.

Downey plays Mary, the mother of Christ, in the movie.

An anonymous donor bought almost 9,000 tickets and gave them to Lakewood Church. Lakewood in turn gave those tickets to their volunteers and their families. They have about 5,000 volunteers at the church.

Pastors and churches around the country are participating in "Theater Takeover," buying up every seat during every showing Thursday so members of their church can go see the movie together.

Lakewood's tickets are mainly at the three Edwards Theaters -- on Wesleyan, off Highway 6 and off I-10.

The movie is expected to be a blockbuster worldwide; it's being released in Spanish and Korean.