Image source: YouTube video, Angel Studios - Screenshot
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Update: Jeffrey Harmon, co-founder of Angel Studios — the company responsible for distributing "Sound of Freedom" — has since objected to the "conservative" label originally applied to the film in this report, underscoring online that this "is NOT a conservative film. ... It is not political at all."
A Utah-headquartered company best known for its religious content has demonstrated with its latest film that Hollywood's days might be numbered — a trend recently signaled by the success and wide embrace of the Christian independent horror film "Nefarious," starring Sean Patrick Flanery and based on a novel by Blaze TV’s Steve Deace.
According to Deadline, Angel Studios' "Sound of Freedom" starring Jim Caviezel made over $10 million in presales ahead of its Independence Day debut. The company's live ticket tracker indicated that at the time publication, it had sold well over 1.1 million tickets and was closing in on its six-day milestone of 1.2 million tickets.
The team behind the film's release believe it will clear $20 million inside the first week while it plays in roughly 2,600 theaters nationwide. By way of comparison, "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny," which reportedly cost around $295 million to make before marketing, barely brought in $60 million in its domestic debut.
Extra to "Sound of Freedom" coming out strong, establishment critics are finding it hard to deny the film's high caliber and quality.
Owen Gleiberman, writing for Variety, noted that the film is "not a glorified 'Rambo' movie or a Netflix thriller pretending to be serious."
Rather, it is "a compelling movie that shines an authentic light on one of the crucial criminal horrors of our time, one that Hollywood has mostly shied away from."
Not only has Hollywood shied away from this issue, but it saw fit to deep-six this film altogether.
While the film was originally completed with 20th Century Fox in 2018, Disney shelved the project after acquiring the studio, preferring instead to churn out box-office bombs, leftist agitprop, and unsolicited retreads.
Eduardo Verastegui, a producer on the picture, told the Washington Examiner that no one wanted to distribute the film, including Netflix and Amazon. Then Verastegui spoke to Neal Harmon, co-founder and CEO of Angel Studios, last fall.
The Utah-based company — which cut its teeth making faith-focused productions including "The Chosen" — agreed to distribute the picture, acquiring worldwide rights in March, reported Variety.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the entire cost of releasing the film was covered through a public investment round filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"'Sound of Freedom’ is a riveting film that shares the story of one man’s heroic efforts to rescue children from human trafficking," said Harmon "Through this powerful cinematic experience, we aim to amplify the growing movement to expose this heinous violation of human rights and inspire people to take action, helping their communities put an end to this modern-day slavery once and for all."
"Sound of Freedom" tells the true story of former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard, who stepped in to save abducted children around the world from sex traffickers when others proved incapable.
Ballard founded Operation Underground Railroad in 2013. It has conducted numerous sting operations at home and abroad and provided law enforcement agencies with resources to combat sex trafficking, which is a $150 billion industry worldwide. The group reportedly had a hand in the arrests of over 4,000 predators and the rescues of over 6,000 survivors and played a supporting role in over 1,000 operations.
This film centers on Ballard's transition from DHS agent to a private actor, saving missing children in Honduras and building his independent team.
"What you see in the movie ‘Sound of Freedom,’ that was based on a real-life operation called ‘Triple Take,'" OUR Rescue president and COO Matt Osborne, a former CIA agent, told Fox News Digital. "In October of 2014, in three cities in Colombia, in a one-hour time period, we helped Colombian authorities and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rescue 123 trafficking victims – 55 of those were minors."
Caviezel plays the role of Ballard in the film, who Variety suggested comes across on screen "as a beatific G.I. Joe meets George C. Scott in 'Hardcore' meets an avenging Jesus."
The role was personal for the devout Christian actor, who previously played Jesus in Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ."
The actor told Fox's "Lighthouse Faith" podcast, "My wife and I adopted three children from China. And I was well aware ... of the problems and dangers that children face globally."
Besides his sensitivity to the issue as a proud father, Caviezel suggested the story resonated with him as an American as well: "300,000 children under the age of 18 were lured into the sex trafficking business in the United States. We are the biggest consumers of child trafficking and pornography in the world. The United States — the home of the free, land of the brave. This is ridiculous. And so the film is a threat."
Sound of Freedom | Let Freedom Ring | Official Final Traileryoutu.be
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.