It's shaping up to be a year in which Hollywood finds religion, and the latest example, "God's Not Dead," a small Christian-themed drama, delivered that message powerfully at the box office.
The film, which opened on just 780 screens nationwide, took in more than $2.8 million Friday. It's likely to be the No. 3 movie for the weekend, behind the bigger-budget, wider-released "Divergent" and "Muppets Most Wanted."
Released through Freestyle Releasing, the drama from the Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment and the Red Entertainment Group was heavily marketed in churches, on the film's website and other Christian websites, as well as social media.
Though "God's Not Dead" was not made available for review prior to opening, the film's website has numerous endorsements, including praise from Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne, Olympic gold medalist platform diver David Boudia and former New York Yankee pitching great Andy Pettitte.