Directed and produced by the Kendrick brothers of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., “Fireproof” tells the inspiring story of a fireman and his struggle to save his faltering marriage from ending with his newfound faith and with the help of the “Love Dare,” a 40-day spiritual guide that utilizes Scripture to reveal what true love is.
With a budget five times larger than Sherwood Pictures’ last movie, “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof” debuted over the Sept. 26-28 weekend at No. 4 with $6.5 million in ticket sales, marking the year’s second highest grossing opening weekend return of any film released on 1,000 screens or less.
The movie went on to rake in over $33 million in ticket sales on a $500,000 budget, making it the fifth highest grossing Christian film of all time behind “The Nativity Story.”
While the numbers may not be so impressive by Hollywood’s standards, what has been shining more brightly for the movie has been the testimonies that have come out from couples whose relationships and even faiths were rekindled or saved through the movie.
Harris Malcom, who plays John Holt, father of Caleb, said he and his on-screen and off-screen wife Cheryl were worshiping one evening at a church where the pastor made note of their attendance and their parts in the movie.
“This man came and said, ‘Thank you, my wife and I are back in church because of Fireproof,’” he said, recalling his meeting with one of the church attendees.
The movie also spawned a best-selling book that started as a plot device in the film until audiences repeatedly requested copies for themselves.
Both the movie and book have garnered the support of churchgoers and conservative moviegoers as well as several national groups, including Focus on the Family, Outreach, FamilyLife, The Marriage CoMission, America's Family Coaches, AMFM, Marriage Alive Communications, and MarriageToday. Influential figures such as marriage expert Gary Smalley and Bubba Cathy of Chick-fil-A have also worked to spread word of the movie.
Now, with “Fireproof” making its exit from theaters, attention has been turned to the upcoming DVD, which features a number of bonus features, including "Making of FIREPROOF: TV Special," Commentary from the Kendrick brothers, Fireproof in 60, Firegoofs, and Rescued Scenes.
There is also a Special Collector's Edition available exclusively through Christian stores and their online venues that has additional bonus material, including the music video for Casting Crowns' "Slow Fade" and a video blog that takes fans behind the scenes week-by-week during the shooting. The Special Collector's Edition DVD will also have dubbing in both Spanish and Portuguese, as well as captions in those languages as well as French, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic, and English, making it a potential international ministry tool.