Anti-Abortion Movie Opens to Double Its Estimates

'Unplanned' makes $6M
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2019 10:46 AM CDT

It's an R-rated feature film from a faith-based distributor, and it just had a huge opening weekend: Unplanned, an anti-abortion drama, made $6.1 million, which is notable for a couple reasons. First, tracking estimates suggested it would bring in only $3 million. Second, it opened in just 1,059 theaters around the US. "We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office," the co-directors said in a statement Sunday, per the Hollywood Reporter. While a film's top 20 grossing theaters are usually located mostly in New York City and Los Angeles, none of Unplanned's top 20 theaters were located there; the film performed best at the Dallas-Forth Worth AMC Northpark 15, and did most of its business in the South and Midwest. The film will be in 1,700 theaters next weekend.

Producers for the film, which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood worker who turns pro-life activist after witnessing an abortion at 13 weeks, tried in vain to overturn its R rating. Johnson herself explains the rating in an open letter, blaming it on two scenes: one involving a CGI re-creation of an abortion, the other a bloody scene that shows what, Johnson says, really did happen to her when she took an abortion pill. Faith and media leaders also spoke out about the MPAA's rating, the Laconia Daily Sun reports, quoting one Catholic media figure who said, "As Abby Johnson ... stated, 'Teens don't need their parents' approval to get an abortion procedure, but they need permission to go to the local theater.' Does that make sense?" (Interesting tidbit: The movie was partially financed by the guy who came up with MyPillow.)

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