“Unplanned” is a movie about Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood worker turned pro-life activist and it’s getting surprising attention at the box office.
But it’s also facing some odd challenges.
First, it was given an “R” rating, thus reducing its market and making it harder for teenagers to watch the movie. That puts them in the odd position, as the Daily Wire notes, of being able to go get an abortion without their parents’ consent, but not being able to watch a movie that might take a critical view of that decision.
Then it also faced social media funny business.
Its account was briefly suspended on Twitter on Saturday, the opening weekend of the movie.
From Daily Wire:
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Twitter to find out why the account was briefly suspended.
“According to Twitter, Unplanned was not suspended on purpose, but rather was linked to another account that had violated Twitter’s rules,” THR wrote. “When one account violates those rules, the system then cracks down on linked accounts to mitigate the risk that the original, banned account would simply move accounts. After reviewing this case a second time, Twitter decided the Unplanned account should not be affected by the other’s suspension and restored it.”
The film’s co-writers and co-directors, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, weren’t so sure.
“It is a sad time we live in when corporations can remove individuals freedom of speech at will. When did we empower these corporations to have such authority? More importantly, why do we empower them to do so?” said Solomon.
“It’s a sad state of affairs when the right to free speech gets shut down with the flick of a switch. The Twitter account for our film, Unplanned, was suspended this morning — without explanation. Whether this was an executive decision by Twitter, or a reaction by Twitter to complaints from those opposed to the pro-life viewpoint, either reason is unacceptable. Fortunately, the uproar in our defense was loud and fast in coming: Our account has since been reinstated. Thanks to all who have rallied to our defense,” added Konzelman.
And then on Sunday, people began noticing more strange things happening with the account.
People would try to follow the account and then check back to find they were no longer following it. Trying again, the same thing would occur. And it happened to everyone who tried to follow the account.
I WAS following @UnplannedMovie and just saw that I wasn’t anymore. So I went to refollow and this keeps happening!
— Courtney Holland 🇺🇸 (@hollandcourtney) April 1, 2019
Despite the social media shenanigans, the film is doing far better than one might think for a film without Hollywood behind it.
The film has “overperformed” in box offices, according to Forbes, which says it has as of Friday night earned $2.72 million. That sets it up for a $7.25 million debut weekend, the outlet reported, for a film that cost $6 million to make.
“If that holds up, then it’ll be PureFlix’s second-biggest opening weekend behind the $7.6 million launch of God’s Not Dead 2 three years ago this weekend. That sequel earned $20 million domestic so we could see a similar result for the Abby Johnson biopic. That would be a big win, since most of the faith-based biggies still come from Sony and Lionsgate as opposed to the various small-scale distributors,” Forbes reported.