As movie theaters continue to shutter due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company will release the faith-based drama “I Still Believe” on premium VOD early, beginning on March 27.
“The theatrical experience is core to our business, and exhibitors are our integral partners and allies,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake said in a statement on Thursday. “With theaters closed nationwide due to these unprecedented events, we want to continue to make ‘I Still Believe’ available to consumers. We’re enormously proud of the movie that the Erwin brothers created and are grateful to be able to share it with audiences for their home viewing pleasure.”
Prior to the crisis, most theatrical releases were not available in the home until roughly 90 days after they premiered in multiplexes. Lionsgate joins Sony, Universal, STX Films and Warner Bros. in releasing films (including “Bloodshot,” “Birds of Prey,” “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man” and “Emma”) early on VOD.
“I Still Believe” came in third place with $9.1 million at 3,250 North American locations during its opening last weekend. The movie is based on the life of Christian singer Jeremy Camp (played by “Riverdale” star KJ Apa) and his first wife (Britt Robertson), who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer shortly after they got married. The film is directed by siblings Andrew and Jon Erwin, who also helmed 2018’s “I Can Only Imagine.”
The Erwin brothers said, “As filmmakers, we are heartbroken that we can’t share ‘I Still Believe’ on a big screen the way we intended. We make movies because we love movies and we stand firmly behind the nation’s theater chains, from the largest circuits to the smallest mom and pop indies that have been so dramatically affected by these unprecedented closures. But the safety of guests comes first, and we’re proud to have the opportunity to share online a movie whose inspiring message of love, hope and faith is perfect for these uncertain times.”