Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton, finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson. Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words “God Is Dead” on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write “God Is Dead” and put the whole incident behind him? God”s Not Dead weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a call to action.
||March 21st, 2014 (Limited) by Pure Flix Entertainment|
||August 5th, 2014 by Pure Flix|
||PG for thematic material, brief violence and an accident scene.|
(Rating bulletin 2302, 12/18/2013)
||Faith-Based, Religious, College, College Professor, Atheism, Death of a Spouse|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Contemporary Fiction|
The first weekend of August isn't a bad weekend, at least in terms of box office numbers. Divergent earned $150 million domestically, but wasn't able to win over critics. The only wide release coming out this week that earned good reviews was Oculus, but its reviews were much better than its box office numbers were. It is certainly worth picking up, but not a Pick of the Week contender. For that honor, we have two choices. Firstly, there's Phantom Of The Paradise - Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Combo Pack, which is a cult hit that turns 40 years old this year. Then there is The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits, which may or may not be coming out on DVD or Blu-ray this week. It was a close call, but in the end I went with The Legend of Korra.
So the first weekend of April was amazing. Not only did Game of Thrones set a series record for ratings (and the best for HBO since The Sopranos) but Captain America: The Winter Soldier set the April opening weekend of all time. Its opening was on the high end of expectations, which is great news, and this strength helped the overall box office grow by 19% from last weekend to $167 million. This is also 24% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2014 now has $2.55 billion, which is 7% more than 2013's running tally of $2.38 billion.
It is the first weekend in April, which means one thing... Game of Thrones returns! Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens domestically. The film already opened internationally and was a much bigger hit than its predecessor was in the markets it debuted in, which bodes well for its opening here. On the other hand, it scared away all other films and there's no competition opening in wide release and it could take a real bite out of the holdovers. That said, this weekend last year, the biggest hit of the weekend was Evil Dead, which only made $25.78 million and The Winter Soldier could earn four times that over the weekend.
March is over and it ended on a bit of a down note. Noah topped expectations, but not every film managed to do the same. For instance, Sabotage barely avoided the Mendoza Line. Overall the box office was down less than $1 million, or 0.7%, when compared to last weekend. Compared to last year, the box office was down 5%, which isn't great, but given how strong 2014 has been, it is hardly a reason to panic. In fact, year-to-date, 2014 has a 6% lead over 2013 at $2.35 billion to $2.22 billion.
This weekend, there were two new wide releases at the box office. One was a big hit and the other struggled. Also, one was a hit with critics and one was not. Sadly, the critical miss was a box office hit with Divergent earning more than $50 million while Muppets Most Wanted failed to reach $20 million. Overall, the total box office this weekend was $141 million, which is 24% more than last weekend. It is also more than the same weekend last year, but by less than 2%. Year-to-date, 2014 is 8% ahead of 2013 at $2.16 billion to $2.01 billion.
The Grand Budapest Hotel expanded once again, but still managed to lead the way on the per theater chart with an average of $22,329 in 304 theaters. The overall number one film, Divergent, was in second place on the per theater chart with an average of $13,874. Rob the Mob was right behind with $13,833 in its lone theater. Jodorowsky's Dune opened in three theaters earning an average of $12,006. God's Not Dead was the big surprise of the weekend with an average of $11,852 in 780 theaters.
Another week, another pair of wide releases. That's becoming a common thing to say. It is also a good thing to say, because too many movies tend to hurt all films involved and it is much better to have one big release and the counter-programing film. This week the big release is Divergent, which the studio is hoping will be the start of a new franchise. The box office tracking for the film looks good, even if the reviews do not. The counter-programing this week is Muppets Most Wanted, which is also opening with a saturation level theater count and it looks to do as well as The Muppets did. Last year there was also a strong one-two punch with The Croods topping Olympus has Fallen $43.64 million to $30.37 million. I'm not sure that Muppets Most Wanted will hold up its end of the bargain, but Divergent is poised for an opening of at least $50 million. It looks likes 2014 will again win over 2013.
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