'God's Not Dead' Makes Surprising $8.6 Million Opening Weekend; Breaks Top 5 At Box Office
God’s Not Dead, a Christian indie film featuring cameos from Duck Dynasty duo, Willie and Korie Robertson, made an impressive splash at the box office this weekend, earning $8.6 million in only 780 theaters.
'God's Not Dead' Movie
God’s Not Dead profited from a growing social media campaign and also gained audiences by partnering with Winter Jam, a Christian music festival. Directed by Harold Cronk, whose previous credits include Jerusalem Countdown and War Prayer, God’s Not Dead follows college student Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) who suffers a crisis when his philosophy professor declares that God does not exist.
In the film, Josh needs to either admit, “God is Dead,” or be prepared to defend God’s existence and risk failing the course. The film was produced and distributed by Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment, whose mission is to make “Christ centered films with positive messages that share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Young star Shane Harper also recorded a faith-based song for the film, “Hold You Up,” no doubt in an effort to attract younger audiences to the film. Harper, an actor and dancer, has appeared on MTV’s Awkward and Disney’s Good Luck Charlie.
The cross-promotion for God’s Not Dead helped the film make an average of $10,979 per screen on opening weekend, blowing away Muppets Most Wanted, which made $16.5 million at the box office, but averaged only $5,170 per screen.
God’s Not Dead has a little over 1 million likes on its official Facebook page, where it encourages active discussion on the film, but cautions against “foul or threatening language.” The hope of filmmakers is that God’s Not Dead will help incite a public discussion on the existence of God.
“I think it opens up discussion more than any movie. It’s not preaching to the choir…it’s creating a lot of dialogue,” said actor Kevin Sorbo, a Christian who plays the atheist professor in the film.
God’s Not Dead is currently in theaters and also stars Dean Cain and David A.R. White.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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