NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Samuel Goldwyn Films said its movie "Fireproof" far surpassed industry expectations when it took fourth place at the U.S. weekend box office.
Produced by Sherwood Pictures in Albany, Ga., with an all-volunteer 1,200-person cast and crew, "Fireproof" was released by Goldwyn on 839 screens.
It grossed $6.8 million with a per-screen average of $8,111, making it the second-highest opening weekend box office of the year for films released on 1,000 screens or less, Goldwyn said in a release.
The No. 1 film in that category was the non-3D version of "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert."
"Fireproof" stars former teen idol Kirk Cameron as a firefighter who learns how to rescue his own marriage.
On both "Fireproof" and "Facing the Giants," a previous Sherwood-Goldwyn collaboration, Goldwyn, Provident Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Affirm Films unit worked together to "devise and execute a marketing strategy to blend traditional theatrical marketing with an aggressive grass-roots and faith-based outreach," Goldwyn said.
Communities across the United States are using the film as a tool to support local firefighters, police, and other first responders' groups which have high divorce rates.
Churches are also buying tickets for members and using the movie to kick off marriage courses, while "Fireproof" tickets accounted for 40 percent of advance sales on Fandango as of last Friday morning, Goldwyn said.