Anti-Abortion Film ‘Unplanned’ Opens Big at Box Office, Tops ‘Captain Marvel’ in Per-Screen Average
Despite huge forces aligned against it, the anti-abortion movie “Unplanned” pulled in big money in its opening weekend.
The picture hauled in $6.1 million from 1,059 theaters in its first weekend, the Hollywood Reporter wrote on Sunday. That’s a bit more than the movie cost to make — just $6 million.
And “Unplanned” pulled in an average of $5,770 per theater, topping “Captain Marvel” by about $650 per screen, Box Office Mojo reported. For the record, the latest super-hero movie cost nearly $150 million to make.
Said the Reporter:
The R-rated film — landing in fifth place — scored the second-biggest start ever for faith-based distributor Pure Flix behind God’s Not Dead 2 ($7.6 million). The Christian pic did its biggest business in the Midwest and South.
Generally, theaters in New York City and Los Angeles populate the list of a film’s top 20 grossing theaters. In this case, there were none. Instead, the top theater was the AMC Northpark 15 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, followed by cinemas in St. Louis; Detroit; Wichita, Kansas; Temecula in Southern California’s Riverside County; Salt Lake City; Orange County, California; Kansas City; Odessa, Texas; and Nashville.
The film takes a critical look at Planned Parenthood. “As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices,” movie review site Rotten Tomatoes says in a brief description of the film. “Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything.”
The movie was hit with an R rating, which generally reduces viewership, especially for a movie about abortion. Some networks have used that rating as a excuse not to run ads. “Up TV cited the R rating when it also rejected the commercial, as did several Christian radio channels that also refused to air ads for Unplanned,” the Reporter said, noting that Lifetime, Hallmark Channel, HGTV and “several other cable networks” also refused to run ads for the movie.
In addition, the film’s Twitter page was briefly suspended.
Still waiting for an explanation as to why @Twitter inexplicably suspended our account. I think we all know why. Perhaps it's because we are moving the needle, making a difference and changing hearts and minds with #UnPlannedMovie@LiveAction https://t.co/RvobjpflcF
— UnplannedMovie (@UnplannedMovie) March 30, 2019
“According to Twitter, Unplanned was not suspended on purpose, but rather was linked to another account that had violated Twitter’s rules,” the Reporter wrote on Saturday. Boy, Twitter sure does make a lot of errors like that where they “accidentally” shut down a conservative.
But the movie pushed through all of that. “We are thrilled, gratified and humbled,” co-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman said Sunday in a statement, the Reporter said. “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.”
While Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie just a 53% rating (with all five “top critics” deeming it “rotten”), the audience review score soared to 94%. The film also earned an A+ rating from CinemaScore.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has been hammering the movie. “The claims in this film are simply false,” the abortion group said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide expert, high-quality health care to our patients, including safe and legal abortion, in a safe and compassionate environment. The movie promotes many falsehoods including most importantly, distortions and incorrect depictions about healthcare.”