Surprise! New Christian film turns in strong 1st weekend



A new release that drew raves from moviegoers but was derided as “spiritual propaganda” by the left-leaning Miami New Times has surprised its makers by earning the No. 4 slot for new releases.

“Because Of Grácia,” described as “a teen Rom-Com with a message,” came through its opening weekend with just under $2,000 per screen, taking the No. 4 slot for new releases behind “American Assassin,” “mother!” and “Brad’s Status.”

The film, opening on 32 screens, had especially strong numbers in working-class areas such as Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Chino Hills, California.

It features former “American Idol” contestant Moriah Peters.

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The film’s promoter noted critics were sharply divided, with the Baptist Press complimenting its “big-league production values, resonant musical choices, incisive dialogue and sensitive performances.” The church news outlet said “it’s a message movie, for sure, but its makers know the golden rule of cinema – put the story first.’”

Schoolteacher-turned-director Tom Simes commented: “We’re thrilled with the response from fans across America. These are real stories that I dealt with from real students in the classroom during my years as a teacher. I’m blown away by this response.”

Distributor Margo Lange of ArtAffects Entertainment said: “We look forward to second week and beyond for this fascinating movie. Who knows how far it can go?”

The movie is pro-life, and deals with drugs, drinking and sex, but it’s a faith-friendly production suitable for the family.

The main characters of “Grácia” deal with teenage relationships (both emotional and physical), abortion, underage drinking, the debate over evolution and whether true “freedom of speech” exists in classrooms and Click to see the original article