Before Heaven Is for Real, before God’s Not Dead, and before Son of God, the year of the religious movie began in January with the Oscar nomination — and the subsequent rescinding of that nomination — for the title song to the independent Christian film Alone Yet Not Alone.
The film itself had not been widely seen at the time; it was shown in only one theatre in Los Angeles last year to qualify for the Oscars. But the filmmakers had plans to release the film in June, and the Oscar controversy gave it lots of free publicity. And that was before the films mentioned above proved that there was a lot of gold in them thar “faith-based” hills.
So, on Friday, the film finally came out, and… it barely made a ripple.
The film was supposed to open in about 200 cities, according to its website, but the weekend’s official chart shows that the film played in only 103 theatres, earning $534,626 for the weekend and landing in the #14 spot, well out of the top ten.
The most positive spin one can put on the figures is that the film’s per-screen average of $5,191 was the third-highest in the top thirty, behind only the top two movies of the week: the R-rated comedy 22 Jump Street and the PG-rated animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2, which averaged $17,263 and $11,627 respectively.
But the fact remains, Alone Yet Not Alone simply didn’t play on all that many screens. (As a point of reference, God’s Not Dead is still playing in 150 theatres in its 13th week. It opened in 780 and expanded to 1,860 within its first month.)
Were any theatrical bookings cancelled? Certainly they were in Canada: the day before the film’s release, the Canadian distributor announced that the film would not be released in five Canadian cities as had been originally announced. Maybe there was similar last-minute backtracking south of the border, maybe not, who knows.
The other big news item among “faith-based” movies this week was that Noah came out in Japan, where it opened in second place… behind the 14th week of Frozen. (They seem to love that movie over there. It has earned $227 million in Japan alone.)
The film also opened in the Philippines, where it made about $429,000.
Noah’s current totals stand at $101.2 million in North America — only $252,659 behind The Prince of Egypt — and $251 million overseas, where it has been the top-grossing Bible movie ever for some time. Its worldwide total comes to $352.2 million, which makes it second only to The Passion of the Christ worldwide ($370.8 million domestic + $241.1 million overseas = $611.9 million worldwide).
Noah is also currently the 13th-highest-grossing film of the year in North America, the 6th-highest-grossing film of the year overseas (behind three Marvel Comics movies, Rio 2 and Maleficent), and the 8th-highest-grossing film of the year worldwide.
In other news…
Heaven Is for Real earned $334,518 in its ninth week, landing it in the #19 spot and raising its domestic total to $89.4 million. It has earned another $2.9 million overseas for a worldwide total of $92.3 million.
God’s Not Dead earned $129,978 in its thirteenth week, landing it in the #32 spot and raising its domestic total to just over $60.3 million. It has earned another $1.6 million overseas for a worldwide total of $61.9 million.
And Moms’ Night Out earned $52,477 in its sixth week, landing it in the #37 spot and raising its domestic total to $10.1 million. It has earned another $52,112 in Australia but does not appear to have been released in any other countries overseas.