Makers of the surprise independent hit film “Sound of Freedom” have the kind of problem every studio would like to experience: More people want to see the movie than there are theaters showing it.
A news release circulated Thursday by Angel Studios said chains are rushing to rectify that issue by adding new theater rooms and show times and over 450 new theaters will add the movie to this weekend’s shows.
Additionally, the studio jumped to the defense of AMC Theaters against accusations that the chain was conspiring to sabotage showings of the drama.
“We understand there are rumors — predominantly in social media — that AMC theaters have made it difficult for fans to see SOUND of FREEDOM in local AMC theaters, and we want to make it clear these rumors are not accurate,” Brandon Purdie, Head of Angel Theatrical Distribution, said in the announcement.
“AMC has been an outstanding partner for Angel Studios,” Purdie continued. “[I]n fact, as a result of the movie’s performance and consumer demand, AMC has agreed to add additional screens for SOUND OF FREEDOM this weekend.”
Purdie said the studio and producers “are asking our fans to support AMC, and all of our other theatrical partners.”
He also added a plea for moviegoers to ignore the rumors and to mind their manners.
“Summer is the busiest season for people working in theaters, so we ask that anyone attending a screening of SOUND OF FREEDOM show kindness to their local theater staff,” he said.
“We have the best movie fans in the business. Let’s continue to show theaters the love that Angel supporters are known for.”
Sound of Freedom fans, thank the theater staff for supporting the mission of bringing awareness to this movie. Thank the young staff members who ensure the largest possible audiences see the film. Let’s treat theater employees with the respect they deserve. #SoundOfFreedom pic.twitter.com/FzEnk3V32A
— Angel Studios (@AngelStudiosInc) July 13, 2023
“Sound of Freedom” is a story based on the life of Tim Ballard, a U.S. Homeland Security agent who quit his job to rescue children from human traffickers.
Earlier this week, rumors had been circulating that theaters had been interfering with screenings of the movie.
For example, Forbes, reported, “Theories that AMC has sabotaged screenings of ‘The Sound of Freedom’ by shutting off air conditioning, evacuating the theater or refunding tickets have gone viral among right-wing social media users, though the company denies it has interfered with screenings.
“In one viral TikTok,” the report said, “a user claims she pre-ordered tickets to see ‘The Sound of Freedom’ at a North Carolina AMC location, but her tickets were refunded because the theater lacked air conditioning. … Heavyweight boxer David Niño Rodriguez tweeted his experience watching the film at an AMC was ‘horrendous’ because the volume was turned ‘all the way down to nearly inaudible.’”
The Forbes story, like many in the left-leaning media, went to great lengths to criticize Ballard and Jim Caviezel, the actor portraying him, as right-wing conspiracy theorists, saying the film has “come under scrutiny for its numerous ties to the QAnon conspiracy.”
“Caviezel has reportedly spoken at multiple QAnon events where he promoted one of the most bizarre Q conspiracies, claiming that child traffickers drain their victims’ blood to develop adrenochrome, a chemical theorists believe Hollywood elites inject to stay young,” Forbes reported.
The New York Times also was quick to tie the film to the right-wing conspiracy theorist group and threw in references to similar stories by Rolling Stone and the Guardian, although it did include a quote from Angel chief executive Neal Harmon, who said, “Anybody who watches this film knows that this film is not about conspiracy theories. It’s not about politics.”
Despite mainstream media efforts to discount the film and the people it portrays, the production has done extremely well for a low-budget project. Box Office Mojo reported it has taken in nearly $50 million to date.
The production has sold nearly 4.5 million tickets, including those in a unique “pay it forward” campaign that allows people to purchase additional tickets, so those who cannot afford to see it can attend for free.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.