Box-office update: Poor July 4 attendance affects two movies with a faith hook that are not “faith-based” movies

From the controversy surrounding Alone Yet Not Alone in January to the release of Moms’ Night Out in May, there’s been a lot of talk this year about “faith-based” movies, a genre that apparently covers everything from low-budget Christian propaganda to big-budget Bible movies with a distinctly Jewish sensibility. Curiously, though, one of the most faith-oriented films of the year came out this past week, and no one thought to group it in with the rest.

Well, perhaps it’s not that curious. Deliver Us from Evil, based on a book by retired NYPD sergeant Ralph Sarchie and directed by horror-movie expert Scott Derrickson, may have been made by openly Christian people — see this featurette on Sarchie and my 2005 interview with Derrickon for more on that — but the film is rated R, and it earns that rating with lots of four-letter words and disturbing images. So for those who are inclined to think that “faith-based” films are synonymous with “family” films and the like, there was never any question of putting this film in that category.

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Box-office update: Robots ride dinosaurs, some films do better than the buzz would suggest, and Noah leaves North American theatres (while enjoying its third week in Japan)

Life was too busy to post a box-office update last week, but that’s okay, I think, since not a lot was happening then.

The big story this week is that Transformers: Age of Extinction supposedly became the first film of the year to gross over $100 million in a single weekend (in North America, that is) — but that figure was quickly disputed by rival studios, who said the film actually came in just a tiny bit beneath that amount. Whatever. It was still pretty huge.

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Box-office update: Alone Yet Not Alone fizzles in its first week, Noah comes to Japan, and more

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.

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Box-office update: Edge of Tomorrow “wins” or “loses” the week depending on how you look at it, and more

Depending on how you look at it, Edge of Tomorrow either “won” or “lost” at the box office this past weekend.

That’s right, you can actually argue that Edge of Tomorrow “won”. Most reports have focused on the fact that the $28.8 million that the film opened to in North America last weekend fell well behind the $48 million that the low-budget romance The Fault in Our Stars opened to, and it even fell a bit behind the $34.3 million that Maleficent earned in its second week. But Edge of Tomorrow actually won the weekend overseas and thus worldwide.

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Thirteen things about the Alone Yet Not Alone kerfuffle

There has been a lot of sound and fury over the past six days as industry insiders and pundits of all kinds respond to the Academy’s decision to rescind the Oscar nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’, the title song to a small Christian film that almost no one had heard of until a few weeks ago, but which will now have ample fodder for its publicity campaign when it gets a wider release later this year.

I wrote about the rescindment last Wednesday, within hours of it being announced, but I figured it would be good to both take a step back and look at the film’s background, on the one hand, and summarize what the fallout has been since the Academy’s decision, on the other hand. Here, below, is a point-form summary.

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The Oscars rescind nomination for Alone Yet Not Alone

Whoa. The organization behind the Oscars has “rescinded” the Best Original Song nomination for the title song to Alone Yet Not Alone. The official reason given is that composer Bruce Broughton, one of the Academy’s former governors and an executive committee member of the Academy’s music branch, went too far when he sent e-mails to members of the music branch to let them know his song was out there and eligible for a nomination. This, it seems, violated the Academy’s rules against excessive campaigning.

It’s pretty rare for the Academy to rescind a nomination outright. Looking at the precedents cited by The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly, there may have been as few as six rescindments in the past, depending on how one defines these things. And now Alone Yet Not Alone has joined that list.

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