Despite Twitter ban, media blackout and an R-rating, ‘Unplanned’ cleans up at the box office
“Unplanned,” a feature film which takes a stand against abortion, doubled its projected earnings, coming in at fifth place overall with a $6.1 million dollar opening despite previous industry predictions from $2 million to $3 million for its opening weekend.
The independent production did well despite a temporary Twitter ban on the film’s social media presence, limited release on the nation’s movie screens and very little coverage from the mainstream media. Major cable networks refused to air promotional ads for “Unplanned,” including Lifetime, Hallmark, HGTV and others, according to a Hollywood Reporter tally. The movie also was given a surprise R-rated by MPAA last month.
Pure Flix, the film’s distributor, now will add an additional 600 screens to the count, bring the total number to 1,700 screens after the film earned a rare A-plus rating from CinemaScore.
“We are thrilled, gratified and humbled. We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office,” the distributor said in a statement.
“We are very happy for the success of this film,” said Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott, who noted that the unexpected audience turnout shows the significance of abortion as a cultural topic.
“We hope that those on both sides of the debate will see Unplanned and begin to have their own dialogue. This film can be that spark to bring more hearts and minds to understanding the value of life,” Mr. Scott said.
Partially financed by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, the film reveals the story Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who became pro-life after her experiences. The film was released nationally on 1,000 screens on Friday.
Mr. Scott also noted, that by Saturday morning, the “Unplanned” trailer had 1.7 million views on YouTube, and received a 93 percent positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the online movie review site.