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Theaters may have closed nationwide, but the VOD options of recent studio films are continuing to open doors for movie fans. Each of last week’s newcomers hailing from studios are now officially coming to digital early since Lionsgate has announced its faith-based drama I Still Believe will be available to purchase for home viewing next Friday.
Universal pulled the trigger first on Monday when it announced The Hunt would be avaliable for $19.99 just short of opening in theaters on Friday. Bloodshot folded to an early VOD release on Wednesday and I Still Believe rounds out all the major films that were expected to be entering their second weekends at the box office starting tomorrow. It has not been detailed how much Lionsgate is pricing the tear-jerky romance, but all other titles have gone for almost $20 thus far.
I Still Believe opened at No. 2 to a $9.5 million opening weekend, just behind Pixar’s $10.5 million second weekend. Following its debut, the movie about Christian singer Jeremy Camp has only made a little over $300K more domestically and another $300K from international audiences for an overall $10.1 million. The movie was made on a reported $9.1 million production budget before marketing costs.
The Erwin Brothers made I Still Believe and have commented on the early release of I Still Believe to digital formats. In their words to The Wrap:
As filmmakers, we are heartbroken that we can’t share I Still Believe on a big screen the way we intended. We make movies because we love movies and we stand firmly behind the nation’s theater chains, from the largest circuits to the smallest mom and pop indies that have been so dramatically affected by these unprecedented closures. But the safety of guests comes first, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to share online a movie whose inspiring message of love, hope and faith is perfect for these uncertain times.
It can’t be easy to see your film lose out on earnings and theater showings, but Lionsgate didn’t have much of a choice. Last weekend resulted in the lowest domestic earnings for the movie business in over twenty years, and as the government calls for much of the United States to stay home and practice social distancing, this weekend wouldn’t have fared any better for I Still Believe.
The movie stars Riverdale’s KJ Apa as a young Jeremy Camp, and the story follows the struggles that tests his faith when his first love (played by Britt Robertson) is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The film has received a 42% score with critics on Rotten Tomatoes – with our own Dirk Libbey rating the film a 1.5 out of 5 in his review. Casual moviegoers seem to disagree since it has an A CinemaScore and 98% RT audience score.
I Still Believe will be available on VOD on Friday, March 27.