“Unplanned,” the biopic of former Planned Parenthood director-turned-pro-life activist Abby Johnson that had drawn stiff opposition from abortion activists and some government officials in Canada, opened there last weekend on 56 screens and surprisingly stout box office receipts.
For the weekend, the movie, distributed in Canada by Cinedicom and showing in independent theaters as well as Landmark and Cineplex properties, grossed the second-highest per theater revenues of any film in North America, based on the 49 screens that reported numbers.
Ashley Bratcher, who portrays Johnson in the film, tweeted Sunday: “Based on the numbers I could find for Canada’s opening night release, July 12th: $345,000 was reported in 49 theaters. An astounding $7,041 per screen average. Putting @UnplannedMovie in the top 5 of Indie Film opening weekends in 2019.”
“Unplanned” opened to some controversy in the United States in March yet earned surprising success, grossing more than $18 million despite garnering an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America for some mildly graphic scenes depicting chemical abortion as well as an ultrasound showing a baby moving in the womb just before its demise.
The movie tells the story of how Johnson, who was raised in a Christian home but who ended up working for Planned Parenthood, first as a college volunteer, and finally as a clinic director, rationalized her work as helping women before one day dramatically turning her back on it. She is now a Christian pro-life activist.
Canadian government leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, and the nation’s federal tourism director, derided the film. Mélani Joly, the tourism director, warned Canadian television viewers that the film is “anti-choice propaganda.”
Moviegoers were apparently unfazed by the comments.
“We’re not sure exactly how many Canadians consider themselves pro-life … but we’re confident the number is larger than it was a week ago,” Chuck Konzelman, who co-wrote and produced the film with Cary Solomon, told LifeSite News.
Above: Ashley Bratcher, left, in “Unplanned,” portrays Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic who became a pro-life advocate.
Photo: Courtesy of "Unplanned"