The most financially successful church-made film to date is looking to extend its run when it hits the DVD market.
Though the "Fireproof" DVD won't be available until Jan. 27, 2009, movie fans and supporters of the pro-marriage efforts of the "Fireproof" movement are being encouraged to pre-purchase the DVD as a Christmas gift to help spark change in a nation where one in two marriages are said to end in divorce.
"[M]any Christian retailers are pre-selling the DVD," the movie's promoters announced Thursday. "That means the movie that has impacted countless marriages can make a great Christmas gift this year. The gift will keep on giving when it arrives on January 27!"
Since its Sept. 26 debut, "Fireproof" has raked in over $32 million in ticket sales and has been touted as a high-impact marriage saver and strengthener.
"The movie so much mirrored what we have been going through," recalled Greg and Sherry in their testimony on the Fireproof website. "I believe this movie would help all marriages, not just the ones in trouble."
"Carmen," meanwhile, shared about how both she and her husband had married before and each gone through divorce.
"When we decided to get married, one huge concern of mine was how we can make sure that our marriage lasts forever," she wrote. "We have heard that we needed to put God first in our marriage, but we never truly understood what that meant until we watched 'Fireproof' together. 'Fireproof' opened both of our eyes to show us how our last marriages failed, so now we have the knowledge we need to succeed."
Directed and produced by the Kendrick brothers of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., the movie tells the inspiring story of a fireman and his struggle to save his faltering marriage from ending with his newfound faith and with the help of the "Love Dare," a 40-day spiritual guide that utilizes Scripture to reveal what true love is.
With a budget five times larger than Sherwood Pictures' last movie, "Facing the Giants," "Fireproof" debuted over the Sept. 26-28 weekend at No. 4 with $6.5 million in ticket sales, marking the year's second highest grossing opening weekend return of any film released on 1,000 screens or less.
The ministry's latest movie not only made the Weekend Box Office Top 10 for three consecutive weeks, but it has also spawned a best-selling book that started as a plot device in the film until audiences repeatedly requested copies for themselves.
Both the film and book have drawn the support of churchgoers and conservative moviegoers as well as several national groups, including Focus on the Family, Outreach, FamilyLife, The Marriage CoMission, America's Family Coaches, AMFM, Marriage Alive Communications, and MarriageToday. Influential figures such as marriage expert Gary Smalley and Bubba Cathy of Chick-fil-A have also worked to spread word of the movie.
This weekend, the movie will be playing in nearly 200 new theaters. Last week, the movie had played in a total of 486.
The "Fireproof" DVD is available for pre-purchase at Family Christian Store, LifeWay Christian Store, and some other Christian stores. The Special Collector's Edition DVD will have dubbing in both Spanish and Portuguese, as well as captions in those languages as well as French, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic, and English, making it a potential international ministry tool.