‘I Can Only Imagine’: A Primer on the Christian Indie That Could Surprise at the Box Office

‘I Can Only Imagine’: A Primer on the Christian Indie That Could Surprise at the Box Office
Faith-based films, while lacking the advertising budgets of bigger titles, often overperform at the box office. Last year, the religious sports drama “Slamma Jamma” grossed over $1 million from 502 theaters, and titles like “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” and “War Room” all grossed over $30 million in recent years, according to Box Office Mojo. “God’s Not Dead” even spawned a franchise after the first installment opened to $9 million from 780 theaters and finished its run with $60 million. This year, “I Can Only Imagine” seems poised to carry on the tradition, as a robust ad campaign on television and online is building buzz about the biopic.

I Can Only Imagine” is based on the story behind the song of the same name by Christian rock band MercyMe. The Texas-based group released the song in 2001 and it became a rare crossover hit, selling 2.5 million copies to become the best-selling Christian single of all time. The film version follows MercyMe’s lead singer,
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