NewsTue Sep 30, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-Marriage Film Fireproof Wins at the BoxOffice with Highest per Screen Opening Weekend of 2008
NEW YORK, September 30, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Samuel Goldwyn Films’ "Fireproof," starring Kirk Cameron, far surpassed industry expectations to place #4 at the box office for the weekend. Produced by Sherwood Pictures in Albany GA, "Fireproof" is the company’s third film, following "Facing the Giants" - also released by Goldwyn, which went on to gross more than $10 million.
With an all-volunteer, 1,200-person cast and crew, "Fireproof" opened on 839 screens, grossing $6,804,764 with a per-screen average of $8,111. It was the highest opening weekend box office of the year for films released on 1,000 screens or fewer.
Directed by Sherwood’s Alex Kendrick and co-written with his brother, producer Stephen Kendrick, "Fireproof" stars Cameron and newcomer Erin Bethea in a story about a firefighter who must learn how to rescue his own marriage.
On both "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof," Goldwyn, Provident Films, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Affirm Films unit united to devise and execute a marketing strategy blending traditional theatrical marketing and an aggressive grassroots and faith-based outreach. Provident held screenings across the country, providing resources and materials for pastors and churches to spread the word about the film. Through its vast network and databases, Provident created opportunities for leaders to bring the film to their respective areas and generate excitement in their communities.
Communities across the U.S. are using the film as a tool to support local firefighters, police, and other first responders’ groups, which typically suffer from divorce rates of up to 90 percent. Volunteer babysitting brigades are offering their services, providing the opportunity for first responders and their spouses to spend a night at the movies. Parents are buying tickets for their married children. And churches are buying for members and using the movie to kick off marriage courses.
High advance sales accounted for 40 percent of all Fandango.com sales as of Friday morning. In the week before its opening, "Fireproof" pre-sold more than $1 million in tickets - far above the predicted blockbusters.
Meyer Gottlieb, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films, said: "Congratulations to Alex and Stephen Kendrick for showing once again that they know how to make a movie both entertaining and substantive. ‘Fireproof’ will make you laugh, cry, and reflect. I’m confident audiences will continue to support it."
"The success of ‘Fireproof’ is an example of the combination of great writing and storytelling, proper setup and marketing execution, all directed at an underserved audience hungry for filmed entertainment that meets their needs in many ways," said Terry A. Hemmings, president & CEO, Provident Music Group.
In coming weeks, Goldwyn plans to expand film’s release to more than 1,000 screens.