Sound of Freedom Shatters Hollywood Record, Crosses $85 Million: It's a 'Summer Phenomenon'

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Jul 25, 2023
<em>Sound of Freedom</em> Shatters Hollywood Record, Crosses $85 Million: It's a 'Summer Phenomenon'

The faith-focused film Sound of Freedom continued rolling in its second weekend – and it set a box-office record in the process, too.

The Angel Studios film grossed an estimated $27 million this weekend, a 37 percent increase from its opening weekend in an industry where films typically lose ground – instead of gain ground – from weekend to weekend.

It is the first time that a movie with a wide release (2,500-plus theaters) during the crowded summer movie season has gained at the box office in the second weekend, according to data at The previous record for a summer film was held by 1997's George of the Jungle, which fell 20.2 percent.

By comparison, Sound of Freedom's second weekend was more impressive than summer releases Shrek (2001, plus 0.3 percent), Finding Nemo (2003, minus 33 percent) and Jurassic World (2015, minus 49 percent).

The 37 percent increase would place it at No. 9 all-time for the smallest second-weekend drops. The top eight, though, were Christmas releases.

Sound of Freedom has now grossed $85 million. For the weekend, it finished No. 2 behind Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

The film shines a light on the horrors of child sex trafficking.

"While the entire summer movie box office lineup is underperforming, our small independent film continues to grow week over week. Driven by millions of fans and supporters, Sound of Freedom has become a national – and soon international – movement for change," said Jared Geesey, senior vice president of Global Distribution at Angel Studios.

It is rare for a film to gain ground in its second weekend, even among major hits. For example, this year's top-grossing film, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, fell 37 percent in its second weekend. The 2019 blockbuster Avengers: Endgame dropped 58.7 percent in week two.

During 2022, only one film with a wide release (Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) gained ground in its second weekend. In 2019, no film did.

Brandon Purdie, head of theatrical distribution for Angel Studios, noted that prior to Sound of Freedom, only 10 wide-release "movies in box office history" had "a second-weekend increase greater than 35 percent over their opening weekend." Those other 10 did it during the film-friendly Christmas season, which gives studios back-to-back holidays to attract moviegoers.

Box office analyst Luiz Fernando tweeted, "#SoundOfFreedom is a SUMMER phenomenon at US #BoxOffice!" He then predicted it's "eyeing a 150M-200M US run (we're in uncharted waters here)."

The PG-13 film tells the true story of a government agent, Tim Ballard, who quit his job at the Department of Homeland Security so he could dedicate his life to rescuing children in other countries from sex trafficking. Jim Caviezel portrays Ballard.


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Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios, used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.