‘God's Not Dead’ Stuns With Strong Limited Opening at Box Office

'God's Not Dead' Stuns With Strong Limited Opening at Box Office

The low-budget faith-based film is on pace for an $8 million weekend while in just 780 theaters

A faith-based film is creating a box-office stir, and it's not Mark Burnett‘s “Son of God” or Russell Crowe‘s upcoming Biblical epic “Noah” — it's the indie film “God's Not Dead.”

The low-budget PG-rated drama about a college student (Shane Harper) who sets out to prove God's existence raised eyebrows Friday when it brought in $2.8 million from just 780 theaters — an impressive $3,613 per-screen average. That was better than any movie in the market except for “Divergent” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” It was running third after Friday and will likely come in around $8 million for the three days.

Also read: ‘Divergent’ Eyes $55 Million After $22.8 Million First Day at Box Office

The big debut may have caught some in Hollywood off guard, but Freestyle Releasing co-president Mark Borde said Saturday that he wasn't among them.

“While this huge opening may be a surprise to the industry, it is not so much to us. The in-house tracking, the legitimate one 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,” he said.

Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White and Willie Robertson of TV's “Duck Dynasty” co-star in the film, which was directed by Harold Cronk and produced by Pure Flix Entertainment and Red Entertainment.

Earlier this month, “Son of God” opened to $26 million, and Paramount's Darren Aronofsky-directed “Noah” is the favorite to top the box office next weekend.

  • patrickstibbs

    It's nice to see an indie film like this succeed, especially with a subject matter that will raise an eyebrow or two. I have not seen the film yet but plan to. I applaud Freestyle Releasing for getting behind it.

  • Jimmy

    I've never understood why people are surprised faith-based films do well. If they're good, they've always done well.

  • Stuart W

    Just very difficult for non-believers of any persuasion to “get it”. The Wrap
    definitely representing the “three-monkey” class of film viewers is “stunned”; a typical condition for that reporting group. Get over it!

  • wks

    My first time hearing about this film, but I will seek it out… sounds promising.

  • gabbycorner

    Sounds promising, indeed.

  • Terri

    Its rated PG not PG 13. Can u correct that?

  • rocketman

    Just saw the film with my wife this afternoon, and she thanked me for taking her, enough said.

  • frugalmommie

    Just saw it in a theater today and we never go to theaters!!! It was awesome and worth every penny we spent! Now we have to wait for the DVD!!! Fantastic movie!!!!!

  • windskisong

    Excellent movie. Watched it this weekend with about 20 friends and family. Why is Hollywood always shocked that a movie that doesn't insult the high percentage of people of faith does well?

  • palintologist

    The theater was packed and the audience burst into applause three separate times. Not one swear word. Not one sex scene. Plenty to think about. Go see for yourself.

  • Erin Flanigan

    Maybe Hollywood will finally “get it”! We don't want to see anymore crap and vulgarity!

  • Tamela Beckman

    This film really had alot to mull over and the various storylines represent real people in all of our lives. If we are asked to take a stand for God, will we? josh could have easily follwed the peer group and just gotten thru the class. His girlfriend had their whole life planned out but Jesus did not seem to be at the center of it. Josh actually had to realize that losing his “casual christian” girlfriend was going to be better for him in the long run. The secret Christian girl from the devout Muslim family really made me cry. We read so many stories of those who follow Christ getting kicked out of their families or worse “honor killings” in the muslim world,. The strong Professor really nailed it as intimidating (and manipulating) his students. How many young people have their faith destroyed by similar intellectuals on the college campus?
    His girlfriend, being a former student, was interesting . She even realized they were unequally yoked after talking with Pastor Dave. How many college girls have fallen for the strong College Professor? These were real life relatable situations. Now the corporate go- getter and his Peta-loving girlfriend were also real to life. His callousness toward her cancer announcement was stunning. There were gasps thru out the theatre when this happened in the film. But in honesty, he admitted why they were even in the relationship, selfishness on both parts. Is this not true in many dating situations of today? When we see him talking to his Mother, actually mocking her faith, in the nursing home, this scene was powerful for me. I really had no idea of what was coming. In her moment of clarity, God spoke right thru her and nailed truth. We have an enemy, the devil. And he convinces us that living for self is really having it all. But it's a lie..a deception and that jail cell of sin traps up. The Mom was yet again giving her son the truth of her faith. Sadly , later in the film, when God's Not Dead texts are going out from the newsboys concert, he ‘s driving and see's the text and just tosses it aside in the car, Again, powerful for me, because you can't MAKE SOMEONE WANT TO LOVE GOD. Free will… a choice… it's true, God does not send us to hell…we send ourselves. Then the professor hit by the car, dying in the rain…seconds away from eternity…this is it….are you really an atheist or WILL……YOU……TRUST GOD…and BELIEVE…he repents…..pastor Dave is EXACTLY where he needs to be….quite amusing the car never really got them to Disney World..>Pastor Dave was helping people all thru out the film. The young Chinese man really impacted me too. The power of the seeds from the underground Church in China came to fruition on a college campus in America when ONE MAN TOOK AND STAND AND DEFENDED HIS FAITH IN GOD………..Hallelujah I wanna shout for the KING!!! God was moving on hearts and lives thru out the whole film just as He is moving and speaking daily in our lives if we would listen. As Josh had the courage to say No I can't sign this paper…The young Chinese man was the first to have the courage to stand in his class and say…GOD IS NOT DEAD!! WOW……One hour changed an entire classroom. Josh had three 20 minute sessions to present his case for God. One week of Philosophy classes , (Mon-Wed- Fri) swayed an entire group of people. Oh if we could have that courage to speak UP and SPEAK OUT FOR GOD!! Think of the change that could come…..May this flim spark revival in the saved and salvations for the lost.!!

  • stage9

    You people really need to get out of hollywood more often. There's a whole world out here waiting to be explored. You might be surprised to find your minds expanding a bit.

    Well, we can only hope.

  • mrebz126

    well done movie on their budget even for a non-believer like myself who got dragged to it. The movie makes one glaring mistake, the assumption that non-believers don't believe because they've never seen any evidence of God. Not true. Most I know, myself included, can believe in the existence of some creator(maybe not a giant super being with a white beard) what stops us from believing is that we don't like the God portrayed in the Bible i.e. Jericho, the flood etc. it has nothing to do with belief

  • Drew

    EXCELLENT MOVIE, I'll be honest, I never tear up during a movie, but this one almost got me! On the other hand, I had to walk out of “Noah” about half way into it. Don't know why I expected a decent Christian movie directed by an atheist!