Despite attacks from the radical left, politicians and the pro-choice crowd, the movie Unplanned did extremely well in Canadian movie theaters over the weekend. The movie is scheduled for a seven-day release running from July 12 through the 18th.
- Listing of theaters showing Unplanned at the end of the article.
The movie tells the story of Abby Johnson’s conversion from the pro-choice movement to pro-life. Abby worked as a director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the US and dramatically changed her mind after witnessing the abortion of a 13-week-old baby.
And Unplanned continues this tradition as according to its producers they have received letters from many abortion workers have turned their backs on the abortion industry after viewing the film.
According to reports, the movie earned an estimated $7,041 per screen based on reports from 49 Canadian theaters. This gave it the second highest per screen average in all of North America for that weekend. If the movie had shown in 1,500 theaters instead of 53, it could have grossed an unprecedented $5 million dollars.
There were full capacity crowds in many of the theaters showing the movie. Of course along with that there were a handful of protesters at many locations.
The movie, that had previously shown in American theaters earlier this year, earned $18.4 million in revenue compared to production costs of $14 million.
But there was a struggle to show the movie in Canada.
When the traditional movie distributors refused to handle the movie, Unplanned was not being picked up by theaters. But that all changed when God spoke to B. J. McKelvie about distributing the movie. Up to this point, his group, Cinedicom, was ordering movies, not distributing them.
With a distributor in place, two major theater chains, Cineplex and Landmark, agreed to show Unplanned in limited locations along with dozens of independents and Quebec’s Cinemas Guzzo.
But there was intense opposition and two theaters that were planning to show the movie cancelled after owners and managers received death threats.
When Cineplex announced its decision to show the movie, CEO Ellis Jacob took the extraordinary step of releasing a letter explaining his decision to show the film. He said it was fundamentally a ‘free speech’ issue and it was not the role of business to censor ‘free speech’.
Of course, rabid pro-choice groups immediately took offense. Though they believe women should have the freedom of choice for an abortion, they apparently don’t believe that people, including women, should have the freedom to disagree with the pro-abortion message.
The opposition to the movie even included a federal government cabinet minister, Mélani Joly, who in an interview with CTV condemned the movie:
“I am joining other women who are speaking out against the anti-choice propaganda move ‘Unplanned.’ I worry when Conservative politicians who seem to come from another time promote it. We should not send Canada back 50 years.” — Mélani Joly, Federal Minister of Tourism, July 11, 2019
In an interview with the Christian Post, Cary Solomon, who along with Chuck Konzelman wrote and directed the film, likened the opposition in Canada to a satanic attack:
“It’s almost demonic in a way in that they’re trying to suppress a whole nation from seeing a movie. And our question for them is this: What are you so afraid of?”
There is a verse in Romans that many of us don’t like that may describe how God used the opposition to promote the film:
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV)
The verse says that God makes all things work together for good. Though we don’t like hearing it when we are going through the trial, the verse suggests that God uses the bad as part of His formula to turn things for the better. The bad plays a contributing role in what eventually happens.
Though the show faced condemnation from those on the political left, many believe it was this vocal resistance that actually contributed to Unplanned’s success in theaters as the controversy swirling around the movie helped get the message out.
If you would like to view Unplanned, click here for latest times and locations.
Below is a list of theaters and others who have agreed to show Unplanned as of July 10th:
- INDEPENDENT – MOVIE MILL LETHBRIDGE AB 7/12-18
- MAGIC LANTERN – CARNIVAL CINEMA RED DEER AB 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – COCHRANE MOVIE HOUSE COCHRANE AB 7/15
- INDEPENDENT – JEWEL THEATRE STETTLER AB 7/20-21
- CINEPLEX – ODEON SOUTH EDMONTON COMMONS 16 EDMONTON AB 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SCOTIABANK CHINOOK 17 CALGARY AB 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 10 SHAWNESSY CALGARY AB 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – ROXY THEATRE BARRHEAD AB 7/13&15
- INDEPENDENT – LEDUC CINEMAS LEDUC AB 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – GRAND SQUARE CINEMA COLD LAKE AB 7/12-17
- INDEPENDENT – HOLLYOOD 3 PITT MEADOWS BC 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – COTTONWOOD 4 CINEMAS CHILIWACK BC 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX CINEMA LANGLEY LANGLEY BC 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SILVERCITY MISSION CINEMAS MISSION BC 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – HOLLYWOOD 3 SURREY BC 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 4 UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS VICTORIA BC 7/15&17
- LANDMARK – COLUMBIA THEATRE CRANBROOK BC 7/17
- INDEPENDENT – VERNON TOWNE CINEMA VERNON BC 7/12-18
- LANDMARK – AVALON CINEMAS NANAIMO BC 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – ROBLIN THEATRE ROBLIN MB 7/12-13
- CINEPLEX – SCOTIABANK THEATRE WINNIPEG WINNIPEG MB 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 5 WINKLER WINKLER MB 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 9 BRANDON BRANDON MB 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – KEYSTONE CINEMA STEINBACH MB 7/19-25
- INDEPENDENT – APOLLO CINEMAS BATHURST NB 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – CINEMA V EDMUNSTON NB 7/12-18
- CINEDICOM BIG SCREEN – GLAD TIDINGS CHURCH MONCTON NB 7/26
- INDEPENDENT – CINEMA BURIN BURIN ARMS NL 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – CLARENVILLE TWIN CINEMAS CLARENVILLE NL 7/19-25
- CINEPLEX CINEMAS DARTMOUTH CROSSING DARTMOUTH NS 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – PORT THEATRE CORNWALL ON 7/12-18
- IMAGINE CINEMAS DOWNTOWN MOVIE LOUNGE SUDBURY ON 7/12-18
- IMAGINE – LAKESHORE CINEMAS WINDSOR ON 7/12-18
- IMAGINE – IMAGINE CINEMAS ST LAURENT OTTAWA ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – YONGE & DUNDAS TORONTO ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX CINEMAS VAUGHAN VAUGHAN ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX WINSTON CHURCHILL 24 OAKVILLE OAKVILLE ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SILVERCITY LONDON 12 LONDON ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SILVERCITY WINDSOR WINDSOR ON 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SCOTIABANK THEATRE OTTAWA OTTAWA ON 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – CINE STARZ MISSISSAUGA MISSISSAUGA ON 7/12-17
- INDEPENDENT – CINE STARZ BURLINGTON BURLINGTON ON 7/12-17
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 12 KITCHENER KITCHENER ON 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 24 KANATA KANATA ON 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 24 WHITBY WHITBY ON 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – KINGSWAY THEATRE TORONTO ON 7/12-18
- IMAGINE CINEMAS CINEMA 6 TIMMINS ON 7/15&17
- INDEPENDENT – UPTOWN THEATRE BARRIE ON 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – RIDGE FILM HOUSE RIDGEWAY ON 7/12-18
- LANDMARK CINEMAS 10 PEN CENTRE ST. CATHARINES ON 7/12, 15, 17
- INDEPENDENT – WOODSIDE CINEMA SCARBOROUGH ON 7/12-18
- CINEMA GUZZO – CINEMA DES SOURCES 10 DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX QC 7/12-18
- CINEMA GUZZO – MEGAPLEX SPHERETECH VILLE SAINT-LAURENT QC 7/12-18
- CINEMA GUZZO – MEGAPLEX MARCHE CENTRAL 18 MONTREAL QC 7/12-18
- CINEMA GUZZO – MEGAPLEX LACORDAIRE 16 MONTREAL QC 7/12-18
- CINEMA GUZZO – MEGAPLEX TASCHEREAU 18 GREENFIELD PARK QC 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – KAMASACK PLAYHOUSE THEATRE KAMSACK SK 7/12-14
- CINEPLEX CINEMAS NORMANVIEW REGINA SK 7/12-18
- CINEPLEX – SCOTIABANK THEATRE SASKATOON SASKATOON SK 7/12-18
- INDEPENDENT – MAY CINEMA 6 LLOYDMINSTER SK 7/12-18