Independent movies can rarely rack up enough ticket sales to be number one in any top, however “Courageous” is No. 1 in ticket sales according to Fandango.com, a ticketing website.
This church-made movie has managed this feat even though it will open in considerably fewer theaters than its more mainstream competition, like “The Lion King 3D”, “Moneyball” or “Dolphin Tale 3D”.
The backing behind “Courageous” has a pedigree when it comes to independent religious-centric movies, the same church having made the 2008 independent hit “Fireproof” for an estimated half a million dollars. Perhaps bolstered by that fact “Courageous” benefited from double that budget and it would seem that they have already gotten that investment back and made a profit because as of Thursday the movie had reached the $2 million mark in pre-sales. Related to this, the Christian apparel maker Kerusso, has reported selling five times as many “Courageous” t-shirts than it did “Fireproof” ones, so it would seem that the movie is getting a lot of traction in the community.
Despite its current standing in the ticket sales, it is not likely that “Courageous” will remain there as it will be opening in only 1,126 theaters while “The Lion King 3D” will be opening in 2.300 and “Dolphin Tale 3D” in 3,500.
Another factor that has to be taken into account when looking at its pre-release sales is the fact that many churches across the country have been buying out entire showings at their local cinemas in order to use the movie as a ministry tool, particularly targeted to men as this is a story with five male protagonists. They then resell the tickets to their members, one church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, for instance reporting that it had sold all tickets for all the four showtimes that it had purchased.
Four of the five protagonists are police officers and the crux of the movie revolves around them committing themselves to becoming better fathers, it is a message that surely many individuals can identify with, and most reviewers have been calling “Courageous” the best film yet from the Sherwood Baptist Church.