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  • Thomas Bonifield

A Second Place Opening-Night Finish for "I Heard the Bells"

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

The faith-based Christmas movie did even better at the box office on a per-theater basis, claiming the top spot in that category.

A scene from "I Heard the Bells," the Civil-War era movie about poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
A scene from "I Heard the Bells," the Civil-War era movie about poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Image: Sight & Sound Films

It was quite a debut evening for I Heard the Bells, as this biopic about 19th-century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow brought in an estimated $767,000 in its first night in theaters, good enough for 2nd place overall, according to The Numbers website.


And it did that while playing in a mere 474 venues, giving it an average box office revenue of more than $1,600 per location, which is a fantastic number. As a point of reference, the number one movie - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - brought in $1.8 million last night, but played in over 4,200 theaters, meaning it averaged only $435 per venue.


Since the debut of I Heard the Bells was on a Thursday, the competition was not what it will be starting tonight when all the other new releases begin their inaugural weekend. Nevertheless, this Christian film, which focuses on the rekindling of the great poet's faith after he endures family tragedy, is off to a strong start and will almost certainly finish in the Top-10 at the weekend box office despite its starkly limited release footprint.


Christian Film Blog will follow developments and update you on Sunday when the weekend numbers come out. In the meantime, you can purchase tickets to a theater in your area via this link to the website of distributor Fathom Events, and the trailer below will give you a feel for what to expect from the movie.



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