We need hope like we need air

Faith-based films performed well at the box office for a second straight weekend, with “I Can Only Imagine” capturing the third spot once again.

“Paul, Apostle of Christ” landed in the eighth spot in its debut weekend, earning $5 million for Sony’s Affirm Films.

“I Can Only Imagine” held strong in its second weekend in theaters, scoring a solid $13.8 million. That brings its total earnings to $38 million – an impressive performance for a film that only cost $7 million to create.

It’s rare for two films with Christian themes to make the top 5 at the box office, it’s the kind of success that makes Hollywood take notice.

The “Paul, Apostle of Christ” stars Jim Caviezel who once played the role of Jesus in the most successful biblical film of all time, “The Passion of the Christ.” In his latest biblical film, Caviezel plays the role of Luke, who wrote part of the Bible, as he visits the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned by the Romans. Caviezel spoke to CBN News about the film saying, “The message of hope is throughout the film, it permeates, like the Bible, it permeates your heart and you feel loved when you walk out of the film.”

The movie “I Can Only Imagine” is the story of the song written by Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard.  “I don’t think the industry predicted this,” Erwin said. “They really dismissed the film prior to opening weekend — almost called it a failure before we even got a chance to open it.”

Bart endured many years of abuse as a child. In the film, Dennis Quaid plays Bart’s abusive father.  Quaid told CBN News, “When I got the script, I had never heard the song. They gave me a script and a CD and I put it to the side. I mean I knew it was huge hit, but I didn’t know it. What hole was I in?”  “I read the script and it hit me so profoundly in the heart, in a place where I just don’t even have words, and that’s what the song does. And it grows on you too.”

The opening weekend success of “I Can Only Imagine” illustrates just how large the Christian audience is, and the movie industry should pay attention, “We’re serving an under-served audience,” Erwin said, who directed the film alongside with his brother Andrew.

“Moviegoers want more optimistic, uplifting PG films they can enjoy with their entire families,” Erwin said. There are plenty of great movies that are the opposite and focus on the anti-hero, but people still want to be inspired, he said.  “We need hope like we need air,” Erwin said

Movie Date Lifetime Gross Opening day
God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness 3/30/2018 $2,630,000 $2,630,000
Paul, Apostle of Christ 3/23/2018 $11,530,838 $5,172,585
I Can Only Imagine 3/16/2018 $55,576,022 $17,108,914
Samson 2/16/2018 $4,708,188 $1,942,569
The Star 11/17/2017 $40,852,824 $9,812,674
Let there be Light 10/27/2017 $7,233,471 $1,729,535
Same Kind of Different as Me 10/20/2017 $6,423,605 $2,591,985
All Saints 8/25/2017 $5,802,208 $1,514,278
The Case for Christ 4/7/2017 $14,682,684 $3,967,885
The Shack 3/3/2017 $57,386,418 $16,172,119
God’s Not Dead 2 4/1/2016 $20,774,575 $7,623,662
Miracles from Heaven 3/16/2016 $61,705,123 $14,812,393
The Young Messiah 3/11/2016 $6,490,401 $3,294,876
Risen 2/19/2016 $36,880,033 $11,801,271
The Letters 12/4/2015 $1,647,416 $700,683
Woodlawn 10/16/2015 $14,394,097 $4,002,226
90 Minutes in Heaven 9/11/2015 $4,842,699 $2,035,273
War Room 8/28/2015 $67,790,117 $11,351,389
Little Boy 4/24/2015 $6,485,961 $2,750,356
Do You Believe? 3/20/2015 $12,985,600 $3,591,282
Left Behind (2014) 10/3/2014 $14,019,924 $6,300,147
When the Game Stands Tall 8/22/2014 $30,127,963 $8,381,509
Moms’ Night Out 5/9/2014 $10,429,707 $4,311,083
Heaven is for Real 4/16/2014 $91,443,253 $22,522,221
God’s Not Dead 3/21/2014 $60,755,732 $9,217,013
Son of God 2/28/2014 $59,700,064 $25,601,865
Last Ounce of Courage 9/14/2012 $3,329,674 $1,585,994
October Baby 10/28/2011 $5,357,328 $102,096
Courageous 9/30/2011 $34,522,221 $9,112,839
Seven Days in Utopia 9/2/2011 $4,373,074 $1,316,910
Soul Surfer 4/8/2011 $43,853,424 $10,601,862
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage 12/10/2010 $104,386,950 $24,005,069
To Save a Life 1/22/2010 $3,777,210 $1,581,517
The Passion of Christ   2/25/2004 $370,783,100 $83,000,850

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