God’s Not Dead didn’t have a massive marketing budget, a liberal A-list star above the title or even the same number of screens most mainstream movies receive.
The film is still on pace to snare the fourth spot in the weekend’s box office chart in a very competitive frame.
What it had in its corner–a popular actor known for his work on TV’s Hercules, the presence of one of Duck Dynasty’s key stars and an unabashedly pro-faith message.
The film, which enjoyed a 18 percent bounce from Friday to Saturday, is slated to make between $8.6 and $8.9 million. Those figures are all the more impressive considering the film was shown on just 780 screens across the country. Compare that to Muppets Most Wanted which earned roughly half of what The Muppets made in 2011. The Muppets sequel, starring dubious box office draws Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, snared 3,194 screens for a $16-plus million haul.
God’s Not Dead cast Kevin Sorbo as an atheist professor who challenges his students to prove God’s existence. Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson also appears in the film. The Hollywood Reporter quickly dubbed it “propaganda,” a term rarely applied to movies with a left-of-center agenda.
As expected Divergent won the weekend with roughly $56 million on nearly 4,000 screens.