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icanonlyimagine.com

The Christian film “I Can Only Imagine” exceeded all expectations and had a massive opening weekend, taking home over $17 million at only 1,629 locations across North America. Christians everywhere are cheering on this big win.

The movie follows the life of Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe and man behind the best-selling Christian single of all time, “I Can Only Imagine.”

Nearly two years after the band released the song as a single in 2001, Millard got a call from a friend, saying he’d heard it on The Fitz Radio Program, a Dallas shock-jock show. The song was such a hit on the show, that they played it on repeat for the next several hours. Since then, the song has becoming the best-selling single of all time at 2.5 million copies, and the only song in teh genre to go double platinum.

The song inspired the movie which charts the difficult relationship between Millard and his abusive father. His father eventually found God after being diagnosed with cancer, and became a better man. His death inspired Millard to write “Imagine”, which offered comfort after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Nearly two decades later, the film seems to be inspiring similar passion. Its trailer has notched over 50 million views on Facebook, and the comments section is flooded personal stories from those who have struggled with loss, depression and terminal illness.

Bart Millard is played by J. Michael Finley, while the singer’s abusive father Arthur played by actor Dennis Quaid. Quaid was also featured in the 2011 Christian movie “Soul Surfer.” Quaid has been very open about his Christian faith, and once said “I grew up in the Baptist church, went to Sunday school and then got baptized when I was 9…I read the Bible cover to cover.”

Along with the monetary success, the reviews coming in about the movie are incredibly positive.

“So much of Millard’s story is simultaneously relatable and optimistic that the movie works for the same reason the song does: It lightens the burden of the pain people are shouldering today, and gives them something to look forward to,” wrote Peter Debruge at Variety.

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