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Theaters may pull ‘Letters to God’ soon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–If you’re planning on seeing the faith-based film “Letters to God” and haven’t done so yet, you may want to hurry.

Theater owners are “threatening to take the movie out of theaters” unless it draws in more viewers in coming days, particularly this weekend, the movie’s director, David Nixon, said in a video posted on the Letters to God website.

The problem is that while the film finished No. 10 in overall gross — a number championed in some Christian circles — it did fairly poor in a per-theater average.

“We need to change this trend right now and get more people to come see the movie this weekend, and then hopefully the theater owners will keep it in theaters so that more and more people can see it,” Nixon said in the video, urging people to buy tickets in advance. “We know that this movie is going to touch millions of lives, and you guys are part of that.”

The movie, rated PG, tells the story of an 8-year-old boy, dying of cancer, who writes and mails letters to God. It was inspired by the true story of a boy whose family are members of Grace Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn. The father wrote the first script.

Letters to God grossed $1.1 million in its opening weekend, compared to a $1.3 million opening weekend gross by the 2006 hit “Facing the Giants.” While those numbers are similar, Facing the Giants opened in less than half the theaters as did Letters to God.

Facing the Giants — which had a three-month run — opened in 441 theaters and averaged $3,046, while Letters to God opened in 897 theaters and averaged $1,228, according to data at BoxOfficeMojo.com. Facing the Giants’ opening was so good that it was still in 363 theaters on its seventh weekend.

Baptist Press film critic Phil Boatwright called Letters to God a “triumph” and “one of the best films you and your family will see all year.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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