When you achieve success, especially when it’s unexpected success, why not brag about it, even just a little bit?
Sony Pictures sent out a press release on the box office surprise of its faith-based TriStar/AFFIRM Films label’s "War Room," which was made in partnership with Provident Films, and took in an estimated $11.35 million at this weekend (its opening) from 1,135 screens, opening in 2nd place overall and 1st place among new releases! This is in contrast with most early estimates which predicted an opening of less than $5 million.
In addition, as Sony states, the films opening gross is the "highest for a faith-based film this year and the highest opening for any faith-based film since last year’s ‘Heaven Is for Real," which, by the way, was also released by Sony. So it looks like they’ve got this market figured out?
But that’s not all!
"War Room" also secured the #3 opening day box office of ALL TIME for a non-concert film released in fewer than 1200 locations. Somebody was obviously very busy this weekend, researching, to come up with that statistic!
A production of the Kendrick Brothers, "War Room" is the 4th in a line of faith-based films that significantly outperformed versus box office predictions.
"WAR ROOM has been an audience favorite from the beginning, even in our test screenings," said Rich Peluso, Senior VP of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s AFFIRM Films. "Alex and Stephen Kendrick understand how to connect to the heart of a viewer and that’s one of the reasons they have been so successful."
So how did they do it? In brief, AFFIRM Films (a Sony Pictures company) and Provident Films (a Sony Music company), partnered together on "War Room" with an experienced grassroots marketing team to introduce the movie and filmmakers to church and ministry leaders across the country beginning over a year ago! Strategic partners in the faith community contributed via creating peripheral products around the themes in the movie that gave them tools to engage their individual communities and generate awareness and interest in the film.
But there’s still a lot more money to be made on the film, as "War Room" will be released simultaneously in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and other Latin America territories, and will continue to open theatrically in several additional countries over the next few months, Sony says.
"The Kendrick Brothers’ films never cease to surprise and amaze audiences, and ‘War Room’ is no exception. The film’s box office performance is exciting but not surprising," said Ben Howard, Senior VP, Provident Films. "The Kendricks have delivered another winner to their audience. WAR ROOM will expand to hundreds of additional theaters for its second weekend."
In short, expect even more faith-based films to hit the market.