'Fireproof' Opens Friday Amid Wide Grass-Roots Support

Fireproof, the latest Christian drama from the church-based moviemakers who scored a surprise hit two years ago with Facing the Giants, will hit 860 screens nationwide Friday.

The movie, written and produced by two brothers, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, depicts the struggle of firefighter Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron), who has drifted apart from his wife of seven years and is considering a divorce.

“His wife is being wooed by a doctor and counseled by a co-worker, so there is no easy solution,” Stephen Kendrick says. “There are some unique twists at the end of the movie. You will find lots of laughter but also some tear-jerking moments.”

Cameron, who is best known for his role on the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, says he knew he needed to be part of this film from the moment he read the script.

“From the minute I read the script, I knew I had to be part of this,” says Cameron, who was asked to audition for the part because the producers wanted to ensure that the right person was cast in each role. “I really believe the Lord ... directed them to do this [film].”

The film is part entertainment and part outreach tool. Seeing the film’s potential to help troubled marriages, pastors nationwide are renting out theaters and planning to buy tickets for firefighters, who suffer a 75 percent divorce rate because of the high stress of their job.

Thanks to grass-roots support and bulk purchases from churchgoers, the movie "could make an impact at the box office this weekend and beyond," the Los Angeles Times observed. Rated PG because of the intensity of some of the firefighting scenes, Fireproof has been No. 1 in advance sales on movie ticketing site Fandango.com with 31 percent of this week's business.

Even some Christian bookstores have purchased tickets to distribute for Fireproof showings. Rodney Redmond, owner of the Sanctuary Christian bookstore in Columbus, Ga., bought 500 tickets for two showings—one for Saturday and one on Sunday, the (Columbus) Ledger-Enquirer reported.

He told the newspaper that The Love Dare, a marriage book initially written only to be part of the film, "is already the No. 2 best-seller year-to-date." Officials from Broadman and Holman, the book’s publishing house, said The Love Dare has sold 300,000 copies and is already in its third printing.

The ultimate goal of this film is to impact lives for Christ, Kendrick said― adding that the film was saturated with prayer.

“This is a prayer ministry every step of the way,” he says. “We pray when we write, when we produce, in all of our work.”

The film opens in select theaters Friday. If it has successful box-office sales this weekend, it will expand to other theaters nationwide.

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