Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story, which premiered this past Friday ranked number 10 at the box office its opening weekend.
The film, which tells the story of Britains great abolitionist, raked in $4.05 million while the number one movie, Ghost Rider, took in more than $20 million.
On a per-theater average, however, Amazing Grace came in third among the top twenty movies. Amazing Grace only opened in 791 theaters compared to the other top 10 movies which were viewed in any where from 2,000 to 3,000 theatres.
Many anticipated that the movie would reach a large audience to create awareness on Wilberforces deeds as well the modern day slave trade. The success of the films opening box office results is being argued.
The film highlights the years of struggle that the British member of Parliament had in abolishing slavery across the empire. After being rejected numerous times and after losing much of his health, Wilberforce was finally able to end slavery - a feat which eventually affected the Americas as well.
The filmmaker, Michael Apted, wished to give credit to a man largely unheard of by the general population. Many are not aware that this battle against the slave trade began with Wilberforce.
In addition, the movie emphasizes the Christian faith that drove the evangelical politicians abolition efforts.
However, many have criticized the film saying that is has taken out too much of the Christian message in favor of reaching a larger audience. Several also contend that its opening rank at the tenth spot is not that significant, and has negated the purpose for taking out much Christian content.
Still, others applaud the great humanitarian steps that Christians have taken to make an impact on the world.
With Amazing Grace, modern evangelicals have an opportunity to remember the great cloud of witnesses that surround us the brave and passionate Christians of generations past who worked tirelessly to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and free the enslaved, said Ken Connor, Chairman of the Center for a Just Society, in a recent column.
Bristol Bay Productions, part of Walden Media who brought The Chronicles of Narnia to life, took the Wilberforce story to the big screen.
Amazing Grace is still playing nationwide in theatres and may have a broader distribution in the coming weeks.