After a successful opening weekend at the box office last week, the Christian film “Courageous” proved once again that it can hang with some of Hollywood's big hitters in its second weekend in theaters.
Early estimates show that the film brought in approximately $4.6 million between last Friday and Sunday, making it the weekend's sixth highest overall earner, according to boxofficemojo.com.
The weekend's top earner was “Real Steel,” Hugh Jackman's (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Australia”) newly released robot boxing flick, which brought in an estimated gross of $27.3 million in its first few days in theaters.
“The Ides of March,” a political drama with a cast led by Hollywood hot-shots George Clooney (“Ocean's Eleven,” “The American”) and Ryan Gosling (“Drive,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”), was the runner-up, taking in $10.4 million.
The two biggest earners were followed by “Dolphin Tale” ($9.2 million), “Moneyball” ($7.5 million) and “50/50” ($5.5 million). “Courageous” followed “50/50,” but brought in more money than the 3D version of “The Lion King” ($4.55 million), “Dream House” ($4.5 million) and “What's Your Number?” ($3 million) in its successful second weekend.
But despite all of its financial success, the makers of “Courageous” hope that the film will do more than just reach the top of the charts.
“Obviously, success for us is changed lives,” the film's director, Alex Kendrick, told The New York Times in an interview.
“Courageous” tells the story of four law enforcement officers who clean up crime on the streets but struggle to be godly, loving fathers and husbands in their own homes. Following a tragic accident in the family of one of the officers, however, the four men sign a resolution to take responsibility for their families as they should.
“I would say in today’s culture, the father is often the butt of the joke, and that’s sad, and so we would like men to raise their own standard. And do it in a way through a story that’s not only entertaining, but inspirational and challenging,” Kendrick said.
In order to further the message of godly manhood, the movie's makers have created a number of resources to help churches and individuals explore the film's themes in their own lives. Among these resources are “The Resolution for Men,” “The Resolution for Women” and the “Courageous Living Bible Study” books.
One Facebook user, Susan Whitlow, posted on the film's fan page that her husband, a deputy, and two of his co-workers saw the movie, and are all now attending her church's 7-week class based on “The Resolution for Men” book. She says that on the first night of the class it was so crowded that it had to be moved to a bigger room the following week, which also filled up quickly.
“I'm so thankful for a movie that is encouraging men in their roles as husbands and fathers, and for a church doing the same!” she wrote.
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote on Wednesday that the film could indeed become much more than just a movie.
“Courageous is indeed a great movie,” Rainer wrote. “But, even more, it could very well prove to be the beginning of a movement. And that movement will have a tremendous impact on husbands, fathers, wives, and mothers.”