'Soul Surfer' Has 'Word of Mouth'

Soul Surfer—the inspirational life story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, the Christian teen who had her left arm bitten off by a tiger shark—again finished in fourth place in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $7.4 million from more than 2,000 theaters, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Heavily marketed to the faith-based community, the movie—which stars AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany; Dennis Quaid as her father, Tom; Helen Hunt as Bethany's mother, Cheri; and Carrie Underwood as church youth leader Sarah Hill—"held its ground better than the other second-weekend holdovers," according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

Released April 8, Soul Surfer has received mixed mainstream reviews, but an A-plus from CinemaScore's moviegoer polling. The movie "lost a mere 27 percent of its audience (at the weekend)," the Orlando Sentinel noted. "That has to be word of mouth. Faith based (light on the faith though) or not, it's turned out to be a pretty decent sized hit."

Distributed by Sony Pictures' TriStar label and marketed by the studio's faith-based division Affirm Films and FilmDistrict, Soul Surfer—which had a production budget of $18 million—has made $20 million at the box office so far.


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