How Big Will "Overcomer" Debut?
The latest picture from the Kendrick Brothers is the most anticipated Christian film of 2019 and should be tops in the genre at the box office for the year.
As we've said repeatedly, Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick are the best of the best among Christian filmmakers. They co-write, Alex acts and directs and Stephen produces and they deliver every time, both in terms of the movie and the message. Yes, the Erwin Brothers - Andrew and Jon - have arrived with that new Kingdom Studios deal sparked by their $83 million hit I Can Only Imagine from last year, but nobody in the faith-based movie business has consistently turned in box office winners like the former pastors from Georgia.
Take a gander at the Kendrick Brothers' resume: in 2006 - Facing the Giants cost $100,000 and made $10 million; in 2008 - Fireproof cost $500,000 and made $33 million; in 2011 - Courageous cost $2 million and made $34 million; in 2015 - War Room cost $3 million and made $67 million. Wow, there may not be anyone in Hollywood - in any genre - generating margins like that. So, how will this latest picture stack up?
Well, since the production budget for Overcomer hasn't been made public, it's a little tricky to be precise. The Kendricks have acknowledged that it's their most expensive movie yet, but that doesn't tell us much. We'll take a stab at it anyway.
Can it pass the $40 million box office haul for Breakthrough, the best in the Christian genre so far this year? Yes, we think so. How about topping War Room? Yes, it can and we think it will, though we're hesitant to put a hard number on it. Could it be the biggest money-maker ever in the genre? NO WAY!!!
That's not gonna happen, because the reigning champion, according to Box Office Mojo, is The Passion of the Christ. That singular effort from Mel Gibson grossed a staggering $370 million in domestic theater revenue back in 2004 and is to the Christian movie genre what Jupiter is to our solar system: so much bigger than its rivals that it seems almost out of place by comparison. In fact, there isn't another picture that's even broken the $100 million mark (we don't count the Narnia triology, which, being allegorical, likely did not come across as Christian to the average unbelieving moviegoer).
But we're getting a bit far afield. The most pressing question right now for Overcomer is how will it do on opening weekend, because that largely determines the box office trajectory for every movie out there. If it does well, it'll add theaters for its second weekend and then it's off to the races. That's what happened to I Can Only Imagine. It opened in 1,629 theaters and was expected to bring in between $2 - 4 million, but delivered a whopping $17 million; the theater count eventually topped out at 2,894 and the final revenue put it into the all-time Top-10.
Overcomer will open in a similar number of theaters this weekend - about 1,700 - which is 50% higher than the Kendricks' previous best, War Room, which also debuted in August and brought in $11 million on opening weekend. Can Overcomer do better? That's a very good number, so it's far from certain, but with a 600-plus theater advantage and the Kendrick Brothers' brand and track record, we'll go out on a limb and say yes.
So what about a prediction? Our guess for Overcomer's opening weekend box office revenue: $13 million. Check back with us Sunday night to see how close we came. Oh, and we'll have a review tomorrow after we catch the preview showing tonight...and make sure you go watch the movie this weekend!