“Unplanned,” the beautifully produced true story of Planned Parenthood director-turned-pro-life activist Abby Johnson, is blowing away even the most optimistic estimates at the box office.
The film’s $6 million opening weekend doubled expectations, which is all the more shocking when you consider that the movie only opened on about 1,000 screens nationwide. That means it actually outperformed the mega-budget woke-feminist superhero romp “Captain Marvel” on a per-screen basis.
That the film — which was produced independently of the Hollywood studio system, and was supported financially by Christian conservative icon Mike Lindell, the inventor and CEO of MyPillow — even made it to the big screen is a small miracle in itself. The entire liberal entertainment industry mafia banded together with their friends in the business world to thwart this little movie that could.
Why? Because if there’s anything Hollywood hates, it’s people who dare to question the liberal orthodoxy that now undergirds even the most apolitical-seeming studio films today. Those who question that orthodoxy are risking their careers.
As the producers of “Unplanned” learned, there is no article of faith so central to Hollywood as abortion. The notion that someone was making a pro-life film was enough to send Hollywood’s power brokers into such a rage that they did whatever they could to stifle this production that had nothing to do with them.
When the film was in production, record companies refused to license music — normally a routine transaction — at any price. They were explicit that it was because they would not allow their music to appear in a Christian movie that doesn’t treat abortion the way they’d like. Disney even had the gall to tell “Unplanned’s” producers that “Disney does not take sides in such social issues.”
Really? Because Disney seems to take plenty of sides on other social issues, both on screen and off.
One wonders what that famous studio’s devoutly Christian and politically conservative founder would think of his company denying a simple song license to a Christian movie producer because it doesn’t want to be perceived as pro-life. Maybe he would just be glad we don’t yet have “a Disney princess who’s had an abortion.”
Song licensing was hardly the end of “Unplanned’s” troubles with the entertainment establishment. The Motion Picture Association of America slapped the finished film with an adults-only “R” rating, dramatically cutting into its potential audience and actually forcing a Christian radio station to drop “Unplanned” ads because of a policy against supporting R-rated movies.
Despite a total lack of sex, violence, or profanity, the blood shown in an abortion scene was all it took for the rating board that handed “Taken” — a movie about a man torturing criminals to death to save his daughter from forced prostitution — a “PG-13” rating.
Even after “Unplanned” was “in the can,” its woes weren’t over. Every TV network except Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network refused to run ads for its release. Promotion is absolutely essential in the movie business. Without it, you’re dead. But it’s 2019, so the producers of “Unplanned” thought they could just turn to social media to get the word out.
Wrong. At the critical juncture, the day after the film’s release, Twitter “accidentally” banned “Unplanned’s” account. Given Big Tech’s record of treating the speech of Christians and pro-lifers as inherently toxic, color me skeptical. At least this time, the plan backfired. Following a public uproar, the reinstated “Unplanned” account quickly gained more followers than Abby Johnson’s old employer, Planned Parenthood.
Hollywood liberals still aren’t letting up, though. Even with opening weekend over and done with, they’re still lining up to pan the film that — somehow — I doubt many of them have actually even seen.
“Unplanned” is already a smash hit, and there’s nothing Hollywood can do to stop that now. Ironically, the film’s runaway success will probably lead to even more movies just like it.
Powerful messages that defend life and celebrate true heroines can’t be contained, not even by the best efforts of some of the most powerful liberals on the planet.
Paula White is the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center.