• Thomas Bonifield

Good Start for "Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable"

This documentary about the professional Christian surfer performs well at the box office in its first weekend.

Aaron Lieber shoots a scene with Bethany Hamilton and her family. Image from the film's Instagram page.

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable brought in $241,000 from Friday through Sunday, according to The Numbers, which put it at number 24 overall. That is a strong performance for this picture, particularly considering it opened in limited release, playing in just 205 theaters.


Christian Film Blog is not surprised it did so well, because Bethany Hamilton is widely known and has a tremendously compelling personal story. At 13-years old, she lost an arm in a shark attack while surfing near her home in Hawaii. The news headlines and talk show appearances that followed were myriad and there was even a feature film - Soul Surfer - that came out in 2011. It starred Christian actors AnnaSophia Robb and Kevin Sorbo and was a big success at the box office, still ranking number 12 all-time in the faith-based genre, according to Box Office Mojo.


Now a 29-year old wife and mother, Hamilton is also a world-class surfer and devout Believer. The director and cinematographer of this documentary - Aaron Lieber - has done a first-rate job, both in telling her story and with his camera work, much of which is truly stunning. Audiences will come away impressed, and we feel confident the word-of-mouth marketing they do on the film's behalf will have a significant impact on its performance. You can check out our full review here.

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