7 Things You Didn’t Imagine About ‘I Can Only Imagine’
On this Easter weekend, we often are in a bit of a reflection mode. This weekend is about transformation and what better way to celebrate than with one of the biggest film's on the screens right now. It wasn't meant to stay long but movie-goers around the country are captivated by this story and its popularity has grown keeping it on the screens.
The song 'I Can Only Imagine' that was composed in just a few minutes and is still being played on airways nearly two decades after it was written has inspired a major motion picture to capture the story behind the hit song.
1) Its The Story Behind The Best-Selling Christian Single AND Chart Topper
Having sold more than 2 million digital copies, I Can Only Imagine is the only song in the Christian music genre to ever go double platinum. Not only that, it topped the charts of crossed over to pop and country radio. It peaked at no. 33 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 and no. 52 on Country Airplay.
2) It's Based On A True Story
Millard was a teenager when his father passed away after a battle with cancer. Prior to his battle with cancer and their reconciliation, his father was abusive for years. "My dad was a monster, and I saw God transform him," the main character explains in the trailer. Millard says the song, written a few years after his father's death, helped him to focus on Christ rather than the pain of losing his father. He stated, “It was my way of coping.”
3) Buzz Was Building Even Before The Film's Release
Before the movie opened on March 16th, the trailer had been viewed 47 million times on Facebook. In its Thursday night preview showing opening weekend, the film surprised industry insiders with a $1.3 million one-day haul.
4) Country Star Trace Adkins Appears In The Film
Country music fans might notice a familiar face. Singer Trace Adkins plays MercyMe manager Scott Brickell.
5) The Film Story Differs A Little From The Story
It's pretty typical for stories to be altered for cinematic purposes. This isn't a documentary but simplifies and streamlines factual details for the sake of drama. The film shows Millard's mom walking out because of the abuse when he was 13, Variety reports the singer's parents actually divorced when he was three. "My mom always said, 'I married a teddy bear, but went home with a monster,'" Millard said in an interview with Billboard.
6)The Song Comforted Many Around 9/11
This song released just 28 days before 9/11. For many, it served as a comforting vision of where their loved ones are now. "I think the biggest thing is, there's no agenda: We're not trying to shove the Bible down anybody's throats," Millard told USA Today. The song poses a lot of questions about what happens next and even though it has no answers, listeners cling to it.
7) The Film is Already Breaking Records
After just one weekend in theaters, I Can Only Imagine has earned an A+ CinemaScore, and an audience score of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie pulled in an estimated $17 million, the third biggest opening in America last weekend and the seventh biggest opening of all time for the faith-based genre.