The pro-life movie October Baby surprised the film industry with a No. 8 debut opposite The Hunger Games, sparked controversy in national media, and continues to strike a chord with audiences.
The micro-budget hit film, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Provident Films from first-time feature directors the Erwin brothers, topped $5 million at the box office this week with its humorous, dramatic, romantic story of a young woman who uncovers the truth about her past and finds love and forgiveness as well.
“October Baby entertains audiences while delivering a positive message about the value of every life,” said Ben Howard, senior vice president of Provident Films. “It’s great to see Jon and Andy Erwin’s commitment to making an honest film affirmed by audiences.”
The Erwin brothers, producers and directors of October Baby, have long been known for award-winning music videos for top contemporary Christian artists. They break into feature films with October Baby. The film surprised many right out of the gate with its strong showing at the box office. And as word about the film spread, distributors increased the modest 390 theaters where the film opened. In many communities, grassroots groups bought enough tickets to guarantee local showings.
Starring John Schneider (Smallville, Dukes of Hazzard), Jasmine Guy (A Different World), and newcomers Rachel Hendrix and Jason Burkey, the movie tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, who hits the road with her college friends to find answers and locate her birth mother.
Audiences gave the film a 90 percent positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review website. For the pivotal role of Hannah, Hendrix earned the Special Achievement Award for Acting at the Red Rock Film Festival.
October Baby is a production of The Erwin Brothers and American Family Studios. Provident Films is known for its association with such hit faith movies as Courageous and Fireproof, and Samuel Goldwyn Films is the distributor of hit faith films including Fireproof, Amazing Grace, and Facing the Giants.
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Although much of the media focus for the weekend centered on the premier of “The Hunger Games” and second week of “21 Jump Street,” October Baby cracked the top 10 in its first full weekend of release. Although critics have panned the movie, it has scored well at web sites where moviegoers can issue their own ratings. Some of the comments from viewers include:
* “If this were a pro-abort movie, it would be in 50,000 theaters, every newspaper would be giving it twenty stars each, and we would be nearing non-stop commercials about it. And it would lose money hand over fist.”
* “That is pretty successful if you break down the numbers. It basically breaks down to 525 tickets sold this weekend in each of the 390 theaters. I wish them a lot more success and that more theaters show it and it becomes a phenomenon.”
Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute encourages people to see the film.
“I can personally say that October Baby—enthusiastically endorsed by Life Issues Institute—effectively promotes a life-affirming message of love and hope,” he said. “It’s a story of forgiveness, told in a way that demonstrates redemption can come out of past loss and grief resulting from abortion. Often, movies with a good message are well intended but not as professionally produced as they should be. October Baby doesn’t disappoint. It meets the challenge.”
“My hope is that October Baby will be a significant catalyst in educating and engaging others with the fundamental truth that each and every life is valued and cherished, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the birth,” he added. “I believe this film will be pivotal in winning more hearts and minds to the mindset that innocent human life is sacred. Every life matters. I encourage you take your family and friends with you to see it. With the tide changing across the country in favor of life, the film’s timeliness couldn’t have been more perfect.”
October Baby is the coming-of-age story of Hannah Lawson, who at age 19 discovers she was adopted, Her first reaction is anger toward her parents for keeping that secret. Then, against her dad’s approval, she hits the road, determined to find her birth mother. In that search, she uncovers more unsettling secrets, including the fact that she is the survivor of a failed abortion. But that trip also leads her toward hope, meaning, forgiveness and reconciliation.
After learning she was actually adopted—after a failed abortion attempt—Hannah embarks on an incredible journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America talked about the movie: “God doesn’t create a meaningless life. He creates every, single life with purpose, — even if we don’t understand that purpose. Sadly, not only does our society take life for granted, it consents to taking the lives of our most innocent and helpless members through the brutal act of abortion. With more than one-third of all childbearing-aged women in the United States having had an abortion, we need to rise up and declare that “Every life is beautiful.”
“That’s why I think you’ll love October Baby, a beautiful, remarkably warm story that has everything — loss … grief … redemption … love — all mixed with moments of genuine laughter,” Nance says. “Please watch the trailer for OCTOBER BABY below. I really think you’re going to want to see movie.”
“And we all know how it works; how much a movie grosses over its theater run makes for great trivia, but the message is sent on opening weekend. October Baby opens in theaters on March 23. Let’s send a message to Hollywood — a message for life,” Nance adds.
If you believe that every life is beautiful and that a beautifully told story can touch hearts—and even save lives—then you will be excited about the impact that October Baby can have when it opens in theaters on March 23.
American Family Studios, a division of the American Family Association, has partnered with Provident Films and Gravitas Productions for the national release.