Major film distributors in Canada are refusing to distribute “Unplanned,” banning the pro-life movie from the country, according to the film’s producers.
Landmark and Cineplex, two of the largest film distributors in Canada, have no expressed plans to show the movie, which has grossed over $18 million at the box office in the United States since late March.
“We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada,” stated producer Lisa Wheeler at a press conference earlier this year, as reported by LifeSiteNews.
Chuck Konzelman, who wrote and directed the film, told LifeSiteNews in comments published Monday that the Cineplex rejection especially was damaging.
“In Canada, Cineplex basically has monopolistic power ... the National Post mentions them as controlling nearly 80 percent of all movie screens, and from our limited experience, they seem to have many of the most desirable locations, in and near the major metropolitan areas,” said Konzelman. “So rejection by Cineplex basically means we're not playing in Canada.”
The official “Unplanned” movie Twitter account noted in a post earlier this week that the de facto ban in Canada was part of a growing problem with international distribution, which they were seeking to fight.
“Canada banned #UnPlanned. Now other nations are moving towards rejecting the film. But in less than a month, you've donated over $30,000 to help #WhatAbbySaw reach the world. How long til we make it 1M, & can fund an unorthodox leap to the global audience?” tweeted the account.
Released through the Christian film company Pure Flix, “Unplanned” was based off of the real life experiences of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned pro-life activist.
“Unplanned” dealt with its share of issues with getting an audience, with alleged social media censorship, various TV stations refusing to run ads, and being given an R rating.
Despite this, for its opening weekend, “Unplanned” made approximately $6.1 million at the box office, which was double the expected ticket sales.
Deadline Hollywood labeled the success of the pro-life film “remarkable,” with Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott saying in a statement released earlier this year that he was “very happy for the success of this film.”
“To bring the story of Abby Johnson to audiences and have them show up in such large numbers shows how the topic of abortion is so important to bring to audiences,” stated Scott, as reported by The Wrap.
“We hope that those on both sides of the debate will see 'Unplanned' and begin to have their own dialogue. This film can be that spark to bring more hearts and minds to understanding the value of life."