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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

"American Underdog" Wraps a Successful Theatrical Run

The picture about Christian athlete Kurt Warner is the top grossing faith-based film since the coronavirus shut down theaters two years ago.

Zachary Levi (left) and Dennis Quaid appear in a scene from "American Underdog."
Zachary Levi (left) and Dennis Quaid appear in a scene from "American Underdog." Image: Kingdom Story Company/Lionsgate.

Sixty two days and $26.5 million later, the curtain has come down on American Underdog. The latest feature from the brother duo of Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, this biopic about Hall-of-Fame quarterback Kurt Warner's unlikely rise to stardom was a hit right out of the gate, earning a rare A+ rating from opening-night moviegoers surveyed by CinemaScore.

The second feature from the Erwin Brothers under their deal with Hollywood studio Lionsgate, it brought in the most revenue of any Christian movie since their first picture under said deal, I Still Believe. That got off to a red-hot start back in March of 2020, winning the overall box office on opening night, as we reported at the time, only to have the rug pulled out from under it a week later when theaters nationwide shut down because of the pandemic, which limited its total domestic box office take to $9.8 million.

The $26.5 million for American Underdog is still not back to where it should be for a good faith-based movie - according to Christian Film Blog's unscientific take, that's in the neighborhood of $35 million by pre-shutdown standards - but it is a strong sign that things are returning to normal.

Interestingly, the next prominent Christian feature film that will hit theaters is yet another Erwin Brothers' endeavor: The Unbreakable Boy. They are producing, not directing, that one and it stars Zachary Levi - who played the lead role in American Underdog - and Patricia Heaton and it should provide another good indicator of the state of affairs with theatrically released faith films when it debuts on March 18th.


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