'Sound of Freedom' tops $250M at global box office, surpassing 'Godfather,' 'Batman Forever'

Jim Caviezel in 'Sound of Freedom'
Jim Caviezel in "Sound of Freedom" | Angel Studios

The “Sound of Freedom” isn’t just bringing the long-hidden topic of child sex trafficking from darkness into the light — it’s bringing historic box office dollars.

Since its debut last Fourth of July weekend, the Angel Studios thriller starring Jim Caviezel has generated more than $250 million in worldwide box office earnings, a milestone typically reserved for some of Hollywood’s blockbuster-style fare, according to Internet Movie Database’s Box Office Mojo.

In fact, as far as dollar-for-dollar box office earnings, “Sound of Freedom” has surpassed what many critics believe to be one of the greatest films of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic “The Godfather,” which has earned $250,341,816, compared with the $250,570,396 earned by "Sound of Freedom," which has already outgrossed other would-be blockbusters like Warner Bros.′ “The Flash” and Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One.” 

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When it comes to Hollywood’s all-time most successful PG-13 films, “Sound of Freedom” ranks at 151, ahead of 1995's “Batman Forever,” 1993 Harrison Ford thriller “The Fugitive,” and 2001's “Ocean's Eleven,” according to Box Office Mojo.

With a U.S. box office total of $184,178,046 and another $66 million earned worldwide, the Alejandro Monteverde-directed “Sound of Freedom” is based on the real-life heroics of former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard, who quit his job to rescue a child from sex traffickers in the Colombian jungle. 

Ballard ultimately ended up rescuing more than 123 individuals, including 55 children, from the modern form of slavery. 

With its modest budget of just over $14 million, “Sound of Freedom” went on to become the first independent film to hit the $100 million box office milestone following the COVID-19 shutdown.

Earlier this month, “Sound of Freedom” edged out the much-anticipated “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” to secure a spot in the top 10 highest-grossing movies of 2023, a year where multiple faith-oriented films caught on with moviegoers.

According to data from Box Office Mojo, “Sound of Freedom” has the 10th highest domestic box office sales of 2023, grossing $184,178,046 in the nearly six months following its July 4 release in up to 3,411 U.S. movie theaters. 

The sales amassed from “Sound of Freedom” tickets exceed the box office receipts for “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” which has brought in $179,650,565 after about two-and-a-half months of playing at up to 3,855 theaters nationwide.

While some industry outlets like Variety hailed the true-life tale about child sex trafficking as an "unlikely box office savior," after the film took in $40 million less than a week after its debut, some fans noticed a marked contrast in the way in which other media covered the film's success.

Calling the movie a "QAnon-adjacent thriller,” The Guardian "fact-checked" the box office tally, pointing out that "Indiana Jones" had already been in theaters for five days before "Sound of Freedom" came out.

Rolling Stone described “Sound of Freedom" as a "superhero movie for dads with brainworms" and even described Cavaziel as the actor "best known for being tortured to death in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ."

While success stories like “Freedom” and others point to a rebound of sorts for the U.S. box office, which topped $9 billion for the first time since the pandemic, receipts are still roughly $2 billion less than annual earnings prior to the pandemic, according to data analyzed by Deadline.

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