Kirk Cameron has shown he can do more in one night than most movie makers.
The 42-year-old former teen sitcom star released his faith based documentary titled "Unstoppable" for just one night in theaters on Tuesday. Now the numbers are in and it turns out the film grossed more than a whopping $2 million on just 700 screens.
That's around the same one-night take that the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal drama "Prisoners" pulled ($2.2 million, but on nearly five times as many screens — 3,260 — than Cameron's film), The Hollywood Reporter pointed out.
Inspired by the death of Cameron's close friend who was only 15 years old when he succumbed to cancer, "Unstoppable" deals with the issue of why God allows bad things to happen to good people, and how tragedy has made Cameron's faith stronger.
"I had a friend who just passed away from cancer, he was 15 years old," Cameron told FOX in August. "His family loves God and prays to God and they are still in Church. My grandfather is in the hospital right now, and we look at the Boston bombing, and school shootings, and this is a question that has destroyed some people's faith. ...How can God allow these things to happen, and that is what I seek to uncover in this film. What should have destroyed my faith, made it stronger."
The Tuesday night premiere was billed as a "live event," and in addition to showing "Unstoppable," Cameron presented several musical acts and led a question and answer session from the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
And Cameron psyched. "We were hoping for good numbers but weren't expecting this to be quite so exciting," he told THR. "This is great."
Part of what made "Unstoppable"'s success so surprising was the relatively low ticket price that was charged for the event. While a recent presentation of the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Carmen" grossed nearly as much as "Unstoppable," NCM Fathom charged $22 for the opera, and only $12.50 for "Unstoppable."
"Unstoppable" previously courted controversy in July when YouTube and Facebook briefly banned the film's trailer. YouTube took down the preview after several users complained that it violated the website's policies against "spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content," while Facebook insisted the film's page on the social media site was taken down simply because of a technical glitch. Cameron led a campaign to have the film's presence on both sites restored, which helped bring greater publicity to the project.
The documentary's distributor, NCM Fathom Events, says it's the most successful one-night event in their history (Fathom has also brought to theaters concerts by the Rolling Stones, performances by the Metropolitan Opera Company, and the recent Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez prizefight.)
An encore presentation of "Unstoppable" has been scheduled for October 3, 2013. In the meantime, Cameron is working on his next project, a movie about Little League baseball through his production company CamFam Studios.