New Christian Film ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Topples Oprah’s ‘Wrinkle In Time’ at Box Office

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Faith-based ‘I Can Only Imagine’ tells the story behind a Christian music hit and topples Oprah’s “Wrinkles in Time”.

“I Can Only Imagine” lyrics state: I can only imagine when that day comes,
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine, I can only imagine….
Two movies and two very different scenarios. One, “I can only imagine” keeps it’s religious focus. Another, “Wrinkles in Time” deletes all references to Jesus and God. Which movie did better? “I Can Only Imagine”…..the truth prevails.

“The movie tells the story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of Christian rock band MercyMe, and what led him to write the bestselling Christian single of all time: ‘I Can Only Imagine,’” CBN News reported.

The film, starring Dennis Quaid and Trace Adkins among a large cast, took in nearly double than expected in ticket proceeds during its opening weekend, with a $17.1 million tally.

The only two movies doing better were Disney/Marvel’s “Black Panther,” which remained in the top stop for the fifth straight week, garnering $27 million, and Warner Brother’s “Tomb Raider,” which in its opening took in $23.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Imagine” played in about 1,600 theaters, earning an impressive $10,600 per theater, while “Tomb Raider” played on about 3,800 screens earning $6,100 on each.

Meanwhile, Disney’s “Wrinkle In Time” dropped 50 percent at the box office during its second week out, taking in $16.2 million in 3,900 theaters, or about $4,000 per screen.

Disney should have stuck to the original and kept all relgious references….they would have prevailed in the end. Instead, “Wrinkle in TIme” is just that. A movie dropping back fast in time.

Meanwhile, “I Can Only Imagine”, the movie that kept all religious references is rising in popularity with movie goers.

Here’s a clip from “I Can Only Imagine”:

“Imagine” also bested the 20th Century Fox film “Love, Simon” about a teenage boy revealing to friends and family he is a homosexual. The movie earned $11.8 million for a fifth place spot in its opening weekend, with $4,900 per theater.

“Imagine” had a modest $7 million production budget compared to $103 million for “Wrinkle.”

The biopic earned an “A+” CinemaScore from its opening day audience, while movie goers gave Wrinkle a “B.”

“Wrinkle in Time” is based on Christian author Madeline L’Engle’s 1962 book of the same name, but the screenwriter of the Disney film took out all references to God, Jesus and the Bible for the movie adaptation. Jennifer Lee (who also wrote “Frozen”) stated in an interview with Uproxx her desire to celebrate “inclusiveness.”

UNBELIEVABLE! “Wrinkle in Time” would have performed better had they left IN all those references! But I guess Disney and their liberal friends want nothing to do with THAT now do they?

On the other hand, Millard told CBN News during Imagine’s premier in Nashville that the filmmakers did an outstanding job capturing his story of pain, redemption and faith.

“The first time I saw it, it was really emotional,” he said. “I guess they did a good job because they stirred some emotions that I spent most of my life trying to bury.”

“Imagine” looks at Millard’s childhood, marked by his parents divorcing and the boy experiencing years of abuse at the hand of his alcoholic father. It goes on to show God’s hand in restoring father to son as they both experience a journey of faith.

Quaid plays Millard’s father’s in the film.

“When I got the script, I had never heard the song. They gave me a script and a CD and I put it to the side. I mean I knew it was huge hit, but I didn’t know it. What hole was I in?” the veteran actor, Dennis Quaid told CBN.

“I read the script and it hit me so profoundly in the heart, in a place where I just don’t even have words, and that’s what the song does. And it grows on you too,” Quaid added.

The MercyMe song “I Can Only Imagine” (2002) has had over 2 million downloads and reached double platinum status.

Christian/pop singer Amy Grant was originally on tap to sing the tune, but she gave it back to Millard.

“Imagine’s” mostly straightforward plot is built around Bart learning about both forgiveness and how to be a real artist, and at times — particularly during one memorable heart-to-heart conversation with Brickell — those threads lead to thoughtful and insightful moments.

“Imagine’s” tone can feel a bit heavy-handed at times, and the sight of a bearded Finley playing a high schooler seems especially odd (the film is also a little too vague about Arthur’s abusive nature, given what Bart describes later in the movie). On the plus side, Quaid’s veteran performance adds credibility to the mostly unknown cast, as does Cloris Leachman, who also plays a supporting role.


Now, one might ask, how did I Can Only Imagine end up such a big hit?

Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen says he thinks the film “benefited from grass roots support from churches and groups as well as from from MercyMe, who have been helping promote the film on social media.”

“I Can Only Imagine” can be seen in theatres nationwide.

In addition, if you are a fan of Trace Adkins, you can see Adkins in Branson, Missouri in April.

I hope you all get out and see the movie – “I Can Only Imagine” in theaters now. It’s a thumb’s up in my book and a rare film that all the family will enjoy!

From the lyrics of “I Can Only Imagine”:




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