'Insanity of God' a Tuesday box office shocker: No. 1 in theater average

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |
Nik and Ruth Ripken appeared at the screening of "The Insanity of God" documentary Monday, June 13 in St. Louis. The film is based on Nik Ripken's book by the same title and was screened prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. | BP photo by Jenna Wachsmuth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Christian Examiner) – The Southern Baptist film The Insanity of God surprised movie pundits Tuesday night by selling out theaters across the nation and finishing No. 1 in per-theater average, a result so impressive that an encore is being planned.

The missions-focused movie grossed an estimated $875,000, which would have ranked it at No. 8 for the night if one-night features were included in data used by sites such as BoxOfficeMojo.com.

But the total gross doesn't reveal the full picture. Insanity played in only 550 theaters, far fewer than the 3,000-plus theater count enjoyed by mainstream films such as Don't Breathe.

When looking at the per-theater average -- $1,590 – Insanity ranks No. 1, easily edging Don't Breathe ($977), Suicide Squad ($385) and Sausage Party ($389).

Even more impressive: Insanity's $1,590 would have ranked No. 2 on Saturday, the most popular movie-going day of the week.

It was the first theatrical release from LifeWay Films, which is part of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Insanity was produced by Nik Ripken Ministries and the International Mission Board. LifeWay was the distributor.

LifeWay Films' Trey Reynolds said an encore is being planned for Tuesday, Sept. 13.

"We are humbled and excited at the turnout for the film. It far exceeded our expectations," Reynolds told the Christian Examiner. "We always believed the story and content of the film was tied to the heart of God and a message for Christians and the church to hear. We are glad people showed up and are praying lives will be forever changed."