Faith-based film ‘Unplanned’ soars at box office despite antagonists
Although Disney’s star-studded “Dumbo” did not exactly take flight at the North American box office this weekend, the faith-based film “Unplanned” did. The movie rounded out the top five flicks with an impressive $6.1 million from only 1,059 theaters.
Moreover, “Unplanned” was another success for Pure Flix, which targets the faith-based audience, Fox News reported.
“We are thrilled, gratified and humbled,” “Unplanned” co-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman said Sunday in a statement. “We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office. It humbles us and we look forward to seeing what happens in the weeks ahead.”
The film tells the true story of Abby Johnson, who worked at Planned Parenthood for eight years before becoming a pro-life activist.
Furthermore, “Unplanned” ran into some unexpected problems during its opening weekend, which outraged fans, according to Fox.
The Twitter account for the movie was temporarily suspended, and users reported they couldn’t follow the account. After the account was reinstated, about 50,000 Twitter followers suddenly disappeared. Twitter officials called it an “error.” But why do these “errors” seem to consistently target conservatives?
“I think it’s outrageous! I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” Ashley Bratcher, the “Unplanned” actress who plays Abby Johnson in the film, told “Fox & Friends” Monday morning. “I think it’s incredibly suspicious given that we were suspended, then reinstated, then we lost followers, then we have people saying they can’t follow, then my own account was unfollowed from the movie. I couldn’t even follow my own movie.”
Fans of the movie were already peeved after it was given an R rating.
Johnson, who now has a ministry called “And Then There Were None” that helps abortion workers get new jobs and helps shut down their former clinics, also reported that she can’t follow the movie based on her story.
“Irony,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “I can’t even follow the Twitter account for my own film. It keeps kicking me off.”
Bratcher added that she doesn’t know if this has happened to liberal accounts, let alone Planned Parenthood.
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) April 1, 2019
A Twitter spokeswoman told Fox News in a statement it enforces its rules “impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation.”
However, testimonials have mounted that would differ with statements made by social media giants.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 1, 2019
Following the Twitter backlash, the @UnplannedMovie account now has more than 247,000 followers.
Bratcher said, while the critics are divided, fans are giving it high scores, and it had a surprising showing at the box office, raking in double the amount expected.
Meanwhile, the Tim Burton-remake of the 1941 Disney classic did not perform the way other live-action favorites have.
“Dumbo” earned an estimated $45 million domestically from 4,259 locations against a $170 million production budget — less than half of what “Beauty and the Beast,” ”The Jungle Book” and Burton’s own “Alice in Wonderland” opened to.
“Dumbo,” starring Colin Farrell and Danny DeVito, got mixed to negative reviews from critics and currently has a middling 53 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
It did, however, bump Jordan Peele’s “Us” to second place. “Us” added $33.6 million, down only 53 percent, bringing its domestic total to $128.2 million in its second week. The Lupita Nyong’o doppelganger movie cost only $20 million to produce.
Easing the “Dumbo” disappointment, Disney and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” landed in third place in weekend four with an additional $20.5 million. It’s now earned over $350 million in North America and is expected to cross the $1 billion mark globally sometime this week.
The teen drama/romance “Five Feet Apart” with Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson took fourth place with $6.3 million, down only 27 percent in its third week.
Not so lucky was “The Beach Bum,” a stoner-odyssey from the provocative filmmaker Harmony Korine starring Matthew McConaughey. It grossed only $1.8 million from 1,100 locations in its first weekend.
The weekend overall is down around 2% and the year is still lagging about 16.4 percent.