The movie Soul Surfer featuring Carrie Underwood in her film debut did better than expected, grossing an estimated $11.1 million from 2,214 locations in it’s weekend opening.
The Bethany Hamilton biopic, “playing to teen girls and faith-based audiences, drew a rare A+ CinemaScore, promising good word of mouth.”
Variety reports Soul Surfer “had some of its best performing plexes in the Midwest, notably, in Oklahoma City and Nashville, Tenn.”
More deets on box office from Deadline:
Coming in to this weekend, Sony thought it was releasing through TriStar an acquired micro-budget title from FilmDistrict that had “solid upside potential” according to a studio exec. “If we do 10 million this weekend (or close to it), it would be a home run for Sony and Film District.” Mission accomplished. A strong Christian message sometimes works at the box office, sometimes falls flat. This one worked, helped by the strong appeal and personal promotion of American Idol winner Carrie Underwood.
Soul Surfer played incredibly well all around the country as Sony had been screening the title aggressively — 350 previews — especially for church groups who arranged for buses to bring in audiences all day Friday. Which is why the movie was a surprise No. 2 all that day until nighttime fell. Exit polls showed 80% of the audience was female and 56% of the total men and women who went were under 25.
Soul Surfer is off to a very good start, indeed.