by Aaron Earls
Prayers have been answered for the Kendrick brothers and their latest faith-based film.
In its second week, War Room won the weekend box office after only a slight dip in sales and no real competition from the new releases.
“These are the kind of outlier events that happen and wake everyone up to the fact that faith-based audiences are passionate and looking for content,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak, told Variety.
Opening weekend, War Room managed to more than double the $5 million opening projection playing on less screens than any other movie in the top 15. It almost managed to topple the number one film, Straight Outta Compton, despite being on less than half the screens.
“It just had everything going for it,” Rory Bruer, Sony’s head of domestic distribution, told the Los Angeles Times. “It was really kind of catching that wave where by the time we released it this weekend it just really was so far beyond even our expectations with incredible screen averages of almost $10,000 per screen.”
A huge push in pre-ordered tickets gave War Room, a film centered around prayer and starring T.C. Stallings and Priscilla Shirer, a head start on the weekend. On Friday, it became the first movie to top Straight Outta Compton for a single day since the musical biopic opened, earning $3.875 million to Compton’s $3.83 million.
“War Room is a resounding success,” Dergarabedian told Market Watch, “proving that in a sea of R-rated fare, the film benefitted from filling a void in the marketplace for a largely underserved audience.”
According to Lifeway Research, that “underserved audience” is quite sizeable. More than half of Americans (56 percent) say they “wish there were more movies that reflected Christian values.”
Audiences who turned out to see War Room loved it. They gave it an A+ on CinemaScore, one of the best ratings of the year.
“God totally gets the credit for what’s happening,” Stephen Kendrick said in a statement. “Thousands of people have been praying for this movie. With all of our inadequacy, God keeps taking what is said to be impossible and makes it undeniable. We are so grateful.”
- War Room Q&A With Alex and Stephen Kendrick
- War Room Highlights the Power of Prayer
- Can We Talk? Hearing God Through Scripture by Priscilla Shirer
- Q&A With Priscilla Shirer, Author of God is Able
- Hollywood Producer Uses Oscar Season to Teach Theology
- Christian Media Barely Reaching Beyond the Faithful
- Q&A With David A.R. White, Producer of God’s Not Dead
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.