Despite all the billboards, inspirational coming out stories involving the cast, and an avalanche of posts about it on ONTD, "Love, Simon", it's taking a bible-thumping at the box office at the praying hands of another low budget, non-tentpole release that's also making its debut this weekend: the Christian film "I Can Only Imagine". Despite being released in 800 less theaters than "Simon", "Imagine" is set to make at least 2 million more than the gay romantic comedy this weekend, congregating to an estimated $14 million+ over the weekend!
So what's all the holy fuss about? "I Can Only Imagine" is about the immaculate conception of the similarly titled 2003 hit song by Christian rock band MercyMe. The lead vocalist of the band, Bart Millard, wrote the song about his father, who had recently passed away at that point.
And right now, Millard may very well be gloating about his movie's triumph over the sodomites: He once felt the need to clarify in an interview, that despite saying something nice about Ellen DeGeneres once, he still firmly believes that gays are going to hell unless they repent.
But there's still hope for the sodomites, at least at the box office. "Love, Simon" achieved a rare A+ cinemascore, which bodes extremely well for its long term prospects. And next week, as we get closer to Easter, will see the release of a couple of other Christian films, "God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness" and "Paul, Apostle of Christ", which will be splitting the attention and wallets of evangelicals. Meanwhile, "Simon" will continue enjoying having its own niche of being the first mainstream gay rom-com, with no other gay-themed movie in wide release. After all, to quote Sartre, hell is other people.
Sources: Variety's article, Millard interview
To make it clear: "Love, Simon" is doing fine at the box office, it's just that its "low/mid budget breakout hit of the week" tiara got snatched by Jesus, who knows a thing or two about wearing crowns! Although, his came with thorns. Welp, fashion is suffering.