Sound of Freedom’s “special message” that appeared at the end of the film’s credits in the U.S. will also feature in U.K. screenings of the movie.
The independent film about former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard’s efforts to stop child sex trafficking has become a surprise box office hit, bolstered by its “pay it forward” campaign.
In the U.S. Sound of Freedom is the 10th highest grossing movie of 2023 so far, even beating legacy franchises Mission: Impossible and Indiana Jones.
One of the reasons for its success was the grassroots marketing campaign devised by the film’s distributor, Angel Studios.
As the credits roll at the end of the film, U.S. audiences saw a timer on the screen counting down to a “special message” which was actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Ballard, urging the audience to tell people about the film but also to “pay it forward” and buy tickets for others who might not be able to afford their own so that everyone can learn about the child trafficking industry.
“Preorder your tickets today, and you can send the message that God’s children are no longer for sale,” Caviezel says.
While the pay it forward system has certainly helped boost sales, Angel Studios which largely produces Christian content argues that it also allows audiences “to amplify light around the globe.”
Sound of Freedom director and writer Alejandro Monteverde credited Angel Studios’ bosses, the brothers Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, for the idea, saying the more people who see it, the more awareness it raises about child trafficking.
“The positive side is that people are seeing my film, and that to me, is the ultimate goal,” he told Newsweek.
“I have nothing but high respect for the Harmon brothers, who I think actually have genius minds… they think completely outside the box.”
The film has had a rollout of releases in the international market beginning from late August, including a September 1 release in the U.K. It has managed to replicate its success at the global box office, topping the charts in 18 countries.
In the U.K. it made it into the fourth spot on its opening weekend as it aired on 527 screens at both major cinema chains and independent cinemas.
Some media outlets reported only select cinemas would air the special message.
But Newsweek has learned this is not the case and every screening of Sound of Freedom will show Caviezel’s message as the credits roll.
“All exhibitors in the UK and Ireland will be running the film with the special message as this is burnt into the credits of the film. There is no alternative version,” a spokesperson for producer Eduardo Verástegui told Newsweek.
Odeon Cinemas—one of the country’s biggest cinema chains—also confirmed that its screenings will feature Caviezel’s message.
People in the U.K. who had seen the film confirmed with this publication that they had seen the message at cinema chains Cineworld and Showcase.