Faith-based film Heaven Is for Real crushed it at the Easter weekend box office, earning $21.5 million from 2,417 theaters to destroy big-budget sci-fic epic Transcendence, which earned an unimpressive $11.5 million from 3,455 locations.
Heaven Is for Real, from Sony's TriStar label, opened Wednesday and earned $28.5 million in its first five days and placed third overall for the weekend.
Christian-based movies seem to be making a huge impact of late and Heaven is for Real is the latest Christian film to exceed expectations.
The movie is based on the real-lfe story of Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, whose young son Colton said he visited Heaven during an emergency surgery. The film is adapted from the pastor's book about Colton's near-death experience, co-written by Lynn Vincent.
The film stars Greg Kinnear and was produced by well-known pastor T. D. Jakes, director Randall Wallace and Hollywood veteran Joe Roth.
Not surprising, the drama did its biggest business in the country's Bible Belt, but appealed to mainstream audiences as well.
"It's really a terrific result," said Sony's distribution chief Rory Bruer. "And Easter was certainly a date that was in the wheelhouse of the film."
Currently there are three Bible-themed films in the top 10 chart.
It came as a big surprise that the $12 million Heaven Is for Real beat Johnny Depp's Transcendence, which cost $100 million to produce.
Transcendence is the fourth big-budget bomb in a row for Johnny Depp after The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows.
In terms of Depp's openings, Transcendence came in lower than The Tourist, which debuted to $16.5 million in 2010.
Here's the real life Colton Burpo who claimed to have visited Heaven.
Image via YouTube