In its first weekend after being released on March 29, the pro-life drama Unplanned grossed over $6M (recouping its production budget), but it didn’t disappoint in its second weekend.
The gross take was $3.2M (with 500 extra theaters), about half of weekend one, but good enough to keep the PureFlix-distributed film at number 8 on the BoxOfficeMojo.com list.
Obviously, people don’t just go to movies on weekends. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the current lifetime gross for Unplanned is about $12.5M.
Unplanned is based on a memoir by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director in Texas who had a “road to Damascus” moment while watching an abortion procedure and became an ardent pro-life advocate.
The film’s success came about despite being turned down for advertising on almost all cable networks (except CBN and Fox News), receiving an R-rating, and having its Twitter account temporarily suspended on opening weekend.
Even the New York Times took notice:
“This movie tells the truth, and a lot of times we don’t get an opportunity to see that,” said Cheryl A. Riley, director of the Respect Life office for the Archdiocese of Newark, who organized the viewing and works with women who have had abortions.
Describing herself, like Johnson, as formerly in favor of abortion rights, Riley choked up while recalling her own experience terminating a pregnancy at 19: “I know that story, and I know that pain.”
From a story at Religion News Service:
“This film has been an overwhelming success,” said PureFlix CEO Michael Scott. “The amazing work of the filmmakers, actors and team behind bringing Abby Johnson’s story to audiences is helping to raise awareness to national and regional pro-life movements around the country. For one film to have such an impact with audiences that are showing up in such large numbers reinforces how important it is to bring this topic to audiences.”
The financial success of Unplanned may pave the way for other films presenting a view of hot-button topics that differs from that of most of Hollywood and the mainstream media.
Image: PureFlix Entertainment
Kate O’Hare, a longtime entertainment journalist, is Social Media Manager at Family Theater Productions.