The low-budget Christian movie “God’s Not Dead” surprised the box office when the film brought in $2.8 million on Friday alone in a limited 780 theaters nationwide. In contrast, “Divergent” played in 3,936 theaters over the weekend. By the conclusion of opening weekend, the Indie film exceeded $8.5 million.
“God’s Not Dead” placed third for per-screen average earnings with $3,613; only “Divergent” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” topped the fictional story of a college student who challenges an Atheist college professor with faith.
Mark Borde, co-president of Freestyle Releasing said that while “God’s” success surprised Hollywood, the independent film studio was confident in the film.
“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,” Borde said.
Kevin Sorbo stars as the Atheist Professor Radisson in “God’s Not Dead.” Sorbo has been very open about his beliefs since the film brought Christian faith into the Hollywood spotlight.
He said that he hopes the film shows skeptics “there might be something greater out there.”