In the weekend of April 1-3, two faith-based movies made it into the box office top 5. Both films "God's Not Dead 2" and "Miracles from Heaven" attracted such a large response that both movies made it into the top 4.
According to boxofficemojo.com, in its opening weekend "God's Not Dead 2" earned $8 million on a budget of $5 million, putting it in the fourth spot. "Miracles from Heaven" made over $7 million over the weekend, landing it fifth and bringing its total domestic gross over two weeks to $46 million. "Miracles" was budgeted at $13 million.
The top three films for the weekend were "Batman v Superman," "Zootopia," and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2." Rounding out the bottom five were "The Divergent Series: Allegiant," "10 Cloverfield Lane," "Meet the Blacks," "Eye in the Sky" and "Deadpool."
"God's Not Dead 2" tells the story of Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart), a high school teacher who gets in trouble when she answers a question in her history class about the nature and history of political civil disobedience. Asked directly about how the words of Jesus affected the philosophies of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi , Wesley responds that, yes, Jesus' philosophy of nonviolence inspired both King and Gandhi. As a result of mentioning Jesus in the classroom, Grace is sued by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times felt that the underlying issues presented in the film are relevant in today's world, but criticized its lack of subtlety, saying, "the entire film simply comes off as a two-hour, jazzed-up movie version of a sermon."
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the film's "straw man" argument and its perceived victimizing of Christians: "Pounding its agenda with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, God's Not Dead 2 will no doubt please its target audience. Everyone else will be left wondering why its fans seem to be suffering from such a persecution complex."
Jordan Hoffman at The Guardian, while deeming it "a much better movie" than its predecessor, noted that "it is unfortunately just professional enough that there are only brief instances of transcendent badness, rather than drawn-out sequences."
"Miracles from Heaven" is based on the true story of Anna Beam, a child with a seemingly incurable disease who is healed after falling from a tree, hitting her head, and having a vision of heaven. It stars Jennifer Garner.