“The Hunger Games” wasn’t the only film to hit box office paydirt this past weekend. Although it only opened in 390 theaters, the anti-abortion drama “October Baby,” starring John Schneider,earned the second-highest-per-screen average, bringing in almost $2 million in ticket sales.
“I was shattered when I first learned about the story. I was moved and mesmerized. I wasn’t an activist, I was just someone who was shattered by the truth,” director Jon Erwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “Here is our little film, small budget, in the top ten (at the box office). We are thrilled, blown away.”
“October Baby” follows the emotional journey of a young woman who learns that she was almost aborted, but at the last minute was instead given up for adoption. The film almost didn’t see the light of day.
“This film couldn’t find a home, no studio wanted to touch it. It was considered too controversial,” Erwin continued. “There was a real moment of despair at one point, the film wasn’t finished and nobody would take a look at it. But every time we screened it, it attracted such intense emotional reactions. So we had to raise the money ourselves, and the release process took much longer than we wanted.”
According to Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of the Christian movie site Movieguide.org, the success of “October Baby” can be attributed to a strong Christian and moral world view that touched the hearts of those who saw it. He says it’s important for more audiences to have the chance to see it, too.
“All who see it should be transformed, so considering the importance of the message, everyone should see it,” he said. “It needs more theatrical exposure.”
Erwin said they are hoping for a wider release next month, and communities are so desperate to see the film they are forming “action squads” in which Christian schools, churches and residents are coming together and agreeing to buy a certain amount of tickets to cover costs.
“We don’t have the deep pockets and resources that big studios have,” Erwin added. “So we have to take the long approach. But people are really getting behind this and rallying. People identify with it, that’s why the film worked.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay