ProMarriage Film Fireproof Opens at Number Four
Special Report - October 2, 2008
Fireproof, an independent film that highlights the struggles and importance of marriage, has surpassed industry expectations this week by opening at number four nationwide. Its $6.8million gross is the highest opening weekend figure for any film released in 2008 on fewer than 1,000 screens. That figure averages an impressive $8,111 per screen for a movie made by an all-volunteer cast and crew of 1,200 people. Fireproof sold more than $1million in pre-sold tickets.
The story centers around firefighter Caleb Holt and his wife, Catherine. As Caleb strives to live the firefighter code at work to “never leave a man behind,” he and Catherine face a struggling marriage at home. After a challenge by his father, Caleb begins a 40-day experiment to save his marriage. The task proves difficult and requires more sacrifice and uncertainty than Caleb anticipated.
Goldwyn, Provident Films, and Sony Picture’s Home Entertainment’s Affirm Films unit collaborated on Fireproof much the same as they did for Facing the Giants, the successful 2006 football story with a Christian worldview. Based in Albany, GA, Sherwood Pictures has now produced three films, Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel in an effort to produce wholesome and powerful films that offer an alternative to much of what is produced by Hollywood today.
With divorce rates among firefighters and other first responders up to almost 90 percent, Fireproof is being used as a tool to support marriage among those groups and among all CHristians. Resources and materials are available for use by pastors and churches. From production to marketing, the film is grassroots-based. Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany and executive producer of the film, said: “We believe good stories can have a good effect. This film was made by a small army of people who poured into something bigger than themselves into not just a movie, but a movement to restore and uplift marriages across the country.”
Jere Royall, director of community impact for the North Carolina Family Policy Council agrees. “Fireproof’s success is exciting because it shows the realities of marriage, but focuses on the vital role of faith and hard work in maintaining the marital relationship, which tragically has been devalued and undermined by much of today’s culture.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.