Amid considerable pushback, the pro-life motion picture “Unplanned” had a successful first weekend in Canada, averaging approximately $7,000 per screen.
The film’s directors say they are encouraged by the showing though the opposition has been significant and multi-faceted.
According to tribute.ca, for the weekend of July 12, the movie — which tells the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson — came in at number 18 in the top 20 movies in North America.
The film was released in the United States in March but it faced obstacles in being shown in Canada. It became available in dozens of theaters in Canada beginning Friday, averaging of $7,041 per screen.
Directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman told The Christian Post in a Monday interview that they’ve made approximately $352,000, which they consider a great number given the hurdles they have faced in Canada.
“We were suppressed at every turn,” Solomon said of the obstacles. “The left and the pro-choice side in the government denounced the movie without seeing it.”
Throughout the distribution process since the film’s release when the directors faced hostility during media interviews and elsewhere, they often asked those, including film critics who were quick to say how horrible the film is or that it constitutes “propaganda,” if they have watched the movie. But they all said no, the directors noted.
Konzelman said that the Canadian mainstream press has been particularly remiss “because there have been probably two dozen articles and most of them go like this: ‘Controversial anti-abortion film coming to Canada’ [where] they talk about the controversy, then they get a quote from a pro-choice organization member, and they say that there’s a limited number of theaters showing it, and then they talk about the death threats to the theater owners.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff posted on Twitter her distaste for the movie. Her account says her tweets are her personal views.
“But I respectfully submit that if Donald Trump’s chief of staff Twittered all weekend about something and they still had a job on Tuesday, it’s the opinion of the administration,” Konzelman said.
Actress Ashley Bratcher, who portrays Abby Johnson in “Unplanned,” noted Sunday that the numbers are “astounding.” Such figures put the movie in the top five Indie film opening weekends in 2019.
According to Box Office Mojo, the total gross for the film is presently $18.46 million.
While the film has faced hurdles to be shown in Canada, the movie’s promoters strategized to encourage supporters to see it while working to satisfy the requirements of the national theater distribution system, according to CBC Saturday.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter