A controversial pro-life movie that almost didn’t get its own life has become a surprise box office hit. “October Baby” drew the second-highest-per-screen average audience at theaters during the weekend.
Although “The Hunger Games,” the movie version of the best-selling young adult book, dominated ticket sales in a mammoth opening in which theaters nationwide offered it on several screens, “October Baby” turned in a solid performance at the box office, with almost $2 million from showings at just 390 cinemas.
Director Jon Erwin told Fox News
that he was “thrilled, blown away” with the success. “Here is our little film, small budget, in the top 10” at the box office.
“October Baby” tells of a young woman who discovers that she almost was aborted but was given up for adoption at the last minute.
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“I was shattered when I first learned about the story,” Erwin said. “I was moved and mesmerized. I wasn’t an activist, I was just someone who was shattered by the truth.”
But the film “couldn’t find a home,” he said. “No studio wanted to touch it. It was considered too controversial. There was a real moment of despair at one point. The film wasn’t finished and nobody would take a look at it. But every time we screened it, it attracted such intense emotional reactions. So we had to raise the money ourselves, and the release process took much longer than we wanted.”
The movie’s impact stems from its strong Christian and moral world views, said Ted Baehr, founder of the Christian movie site Movieguide.org. “All who see it should be transformed, so considering the importance of the message, everyone should see it,” Fox News quotes him as saying. “It needs more theatrical exposure.”
Some churches and Christian schools are working to bring the movie to their communities by guaranteeing a certain number of ticket sales for local theaters.
“We don’t have the deep pockets and resources that big studios have,” Erwin said. “So we have to take the long approach. But people are really getting behind this and rallying. People identify with it — that’s why the film worked.”
The movie stars John Schneider, best known for his role as Bo Duke in “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV series from 1979 to ’85.
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