Just a few weeks after Christ-narrative Son of God debuted to an impressive $26 million at the US Box Office, another Christian release is set to impress movie-goers nationwide.
God's Not Dead earned an estimated $2.8 million through it's first day, surpassing the totals of other recent Christian flicks over their entire runs such as The Grace Card and The Christmas Candle. The film went on to collect $8.6 million for its' opening weekend, a total that surpasses even the notorious breakout Christian hit Fireproof (although off slightly from the $9 million Courageous opened to in 2011). Debuting to a limited release of fewer than 800 screens, this puts the film at an excellent average of over $14,000 per location, higher than Courageous and even Son of God and doubling the wide-release of the brand new Muppets movie.
Produced by Pure Flix Entertainment and Red Entertainment, God's Not Dead follows a college student who sets out to prove the existence of God to his atheist college professor. The film stars Shane Harper, David A.R. White, Dean Cain, and Kevin Sorbo, as well as featuring Willie Robertson of the hit A&E series, Duck Dynasty. The film also features an appearance by chart-topping Christian rock band, the Newsboys, whose smash hit cover of the Daniel Basta-penned "God's Not Dead" inspired the movie's title.
Freestyle Releasing co-president Mark Borde, who distributed the Pure Flix Entertainment movie, states, "While this huge opening may be a surprise to the industry, it is not so much to us. The in-house tracking, the legitimate 1 million Facebook fans, the very high trending on Twitter and Fandango among many other platforms, and the huge positive reaction from the hundreds of screenings over the many past months, gave us hope for a significant opening."
After two breakout hits for faith-based audiences in the past month, Biblical themes will continue to maintain a presence at the weekend box office as the controversial Russell Crowe-fronted epic, Noah, hits theaters next weekend and is expected to take the top spot. Heaven Is for Real, adapted from the best-selling "life after death" book, will follow in April and Ragamuffin hits theaters in May, telling the story of CCM artist Rich Mullins. Hollywood's elite will also be returning to the story of Mosas with Exodus, currently in production, directed by Ridley Scott and staring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver.