A new Christian Christmas movie about a 19th century American poet is already making an impact at the box office just days after its release.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is renowned for writing classic poems about American legends like Paul Revere and Hiawatha, but he’s most famous for the poem that became a popular carol: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
The Biblical beliefs of this descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims were reflected in his life’s work.
The movie simply titled I Heard The Bells is based on Longfellow’s rekindled faith at a time of great despair during the American Civil War.
He was grieving the death of his second wife and had just learned his son had been critically wounded on the battlefield.
His misery was so acute he could no longer write.
Then he heard the bells ringing on Christmas Day which reignited his faith, hope and passion for poetry.
He immediately penned the poem that became the popular carol that’s still enduring after 160 years.
It’s been a hit for many singers including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash and Christian band Casting Crowns.
Now it has an inspired a movie with a Gospel theme which is already screening in Australia.
After its first weekend at US cinemas it grossed more than A$4 million prompting an extended run.
Film distributor Fathom Events noted: “This is very significant as a small film producer like Sight & Sound is pulling box office numbers in the top 5 overall.”
Sight & Sound said “It’s beyond what we were hoping for an opening weekend.”