AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron and “Sound of Freedom” distributor Angel Studios have joined forces to quell a boycott against the exhibition chain over the release of the Jim Caviezel action movie. Social media users have accused AMC of purposely disrupting “Sound of Freedom” screenings following accusations that the hit film stokes QAnon conspiracy theories (Rolling Stone, for instance, slammed “Sound of Freedom” as a “QAnon-tinged thriller”). Claims include AMC canceling screenings and disrupting showtimes with technical difficulties and broken air conditioning.
“Sadly, conspiracy theorists are so prevalent in America. So much garbage information is spread,” Aron wrote on Twitter. “More than ONE MILLION people have watched ‘Sound of Freedom’ at AMC Theatres. More than at any other theatre chain on the planet. Yet people falsely claim otherwise. It is so bizarre.”
Written and directed by Alejandro Monteverde, “Sound of Freedom” is based on the true story of Tim Ballard. “The Passion of the Christ” star Caviezel plays a former government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia. Mira Sorvino and Bill Camp co-star.
“Sound of Freedom” has proven to be an unexpected box office hit since its release on July 4. The movie had an opening day gross of $14.2 million, and it went on to earn another $18.2 million over its first weekend. “Sound of Freedom” held the second spot at the Wednesday, July 12 box office, trailing behind only Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.” Its current gross stands at just over $53 million.
Angel Studios is behind the “Sound of Freedom” release and used a “Pay It Forward” app to encourage moviegoers to buy tickets for others to see the film. About $2.6 million of opening day sales were earned through this method. The studio released a statement stressing to fans that AMC is supporting “Sound of Freedom.”
“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,” Angel Studios’ head of theatrical distribution Brandon Purdie said. “AMC has been an outstanding partner for Angel Studios, and in 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 added, “Angel Studios and the producers of ‘Sound of Freedom’ are asking our fans to support AMC, and all of our other theatrical partners. 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. We have the best movie fans in the business. Let’s continue to show theaters the love that Angel supporters are known for.”
Angel Studios reports that more than 450 new theaters will screen “Sound of Freedom” starting June 14.