“I Can Only Imagine” – the movie based on the smash hit song by Christian band Mercy Me – has already raked in $43 million at the box office since it was released on March 16, despite costing only $7 million to make.
The unexpected success proves that there’s a wide audience for Faith-based movies.
READ: Shock Jocks Played ‘I Can Only Imagine’ as a Joke — Here’s the Incredible Story of How it Became a Hit
For a second straight week, the movie came in at No. 2 at the box office, after “Black Panther” and ahead of “Love, Simon” and “A Wrinkle In Time,” ABC News reported.
The movie tells the story behind one of the biggest hits in the Christian music genre.
Faith-based films win big at the box office. @PaulaFaris on why movies like 'I Can Only Imagine' are doing so well: pic.twitter.com/grYjarXJO4
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 30, 2018
Bart Millard, lead singer of Mercy Me, wrote the song to reflect on his troubled relationship with his alcoholic father, played in the movie by Dennis Quaid.
“My dad was a monster, and I saw God transform him,” J. Michael Finley, who plays Millard in the movie, says in the trailer.
Check out the brand new video for our single “I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Session)” available everywhere now! View full video at https://t.co/jx7xXVEIbY@onlyimaginefilm will be in theaters 3.16! pic.twitter.com/gdITeqyI3e
— MercyMe (@mercyme) February 2, 2018
The movie is the fourth-biggest domestic opening for a faith-based film. “The Passion of the Christ,” holds the record after it brought in nearly $84 million in its first weekend in 2004. It made more than $600 million that year.
What makes the box office success for “I Can Only Imagine” even more astonishing is it only debuted in limited cities.
Well it's been 10 days since "I Can Only Imagine" released in theaters, and I don't really know what to say. It has far exceeded every possible expectation we've had. AND IT'S NOT OVER YET! Easter cometh! Let forgiveness take center stage all across the world.
— Bart Millard (@BartMillard) March 26, 2018
At least four faith-based films were released in March alone, ahead of the Easter holiday.
“People who are looking for these sort-of religious films are not being served by the big superhero movies,” Rebecca Ford of The Hollywood Reporter told ABC News.
(H/T: ABC News)