The new Kirk Cameron is tearing it up with his new flick Fireproof. While some of the reviews from the mainstream media have not been terribly positive (The Onion gave it an F and a pretty solid scolding) the movie has been warmly received in the Christian community earning an estimated $17,000,000 in its first 2 and-a-half weeks (against a reported budget of $500,000).
While a religious-y film about a fireman wouldn’t usually get our attention, the film is mostly about rescuing a troubled marriage. The filmmakers partnered with an outfit called Fireproof My Marriage (an entendre of some kind). FMM advocates a Biblical approach to making a marriage last (we hope they use some of the gentler parts of the Bible).
Another plot device/ partnership from the film is The Love Dare. The Love Dare is a book based on a 40-day plan (about the amount of time it takes for the Earth to flood during a constant downpour) to strengthen a marriage using scripture, 'love dares,' and checklists.
The really incredible thing is not that this movie got made, they had Kirk Friggin' Cameron. It's amazing that they got a distribution deal from MGM and that a sub-unit of Sony BMG (Provident Films, the Christian wing of Sony) produced it. It seems like there is a huge market right now for somewhat softer fare. Beverly Hill Chihuahua won the box office the last 2 weekends.
According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, Fireproof has already moved into the top 10 box office draws among Christian films (only $350 million to go to tie The Passion Of The Christ). It's also a top 10 fire fighter film (only $60 million to meet Backdraft). The movie is actually earning more per screen than Eagle Eye (though Bill Maher's religious satire, Religulous, is beating Fireproof on a per-screen basis).
So, what's the moral? Are people looking for a greater religious experience at the cinemas? Is this Biblical relationship business catching on? Or is this just old-fashioned Mike Seaver nostalgia? Honestly, he looks exactly the same. Enjoy the trailer. Also, anyone out there actually seen this thing? Did they put all the New Testament stuff in the trailer?