Roadside Attractions' release of the Erwin Brothers faith-based family drama I Can Only Imagine shattered pre-weekend tracking expectations to become #3 at the box-office this weekend and the #1 faith-based movie of 2018. The film took in an estimated $17,064,640 for a per-screen average of $10,475 from 1,629 locations in North America. The film received a rare A+ CinemaScore with an audience that was 67% female and 80% over 35.
The film features an all-star cast including Golden-Globe nominee Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow, The Rookie, Soul Surfer), Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant, The Last Picture Show, Young Frankenstein), platinum-selling country music legend Trace Adkins, author and actress Priscilla Shirer (War Room), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Poppers Penguins) and Broadway's J. Michael Finley ("Les Miserables").
I Can Only Imagine brings to life the true story behind the song of ultimate hope, "I Can Only Imagine." A transformed relationship with his troubled father inspired Bart Millard, the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe, to write what is now the most-played radio single in Christian music history. A gripping reminder of the power of forgiveness, I Can Only Imagine beautifully illustrates that no one is ever too far from God's love - or from an eternal home in Heaven.
We are honored to chat with Brent McCorkle. Brent is the co-writer, co-editor, 2nd unit director and the composer of the film.
Q: Brent, thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the forthcoming release of the new film "I Can Only Imagine." In your own words, tell us briefly what is the movie about?
'I Can Only Imagine' is the true story of Bart Millard, lead singer of Mercy Me, and the life journey that led him to ultimately write the song. While everyone that loves this song has a story of their own associated with it, Bart's story of why he wrote it is widely unknown. I'm excited for fans of the song to experience Bart's journey and hear the origin of the piece of music that means so much to millions of people.
Q: What first attracted you to this story?
Believe or not, it was not the song ... It was actually all of the amazing, unknown elements of Bart's story. Even without the song, Bart's story is a deeply-moving drama about the power of love, forgiveness, and redemption.
Q: How do you think this movie will encourage Christians? What about non-Christians?
I believe this movie has the power to uplift and encourage people from all walks of life. The story and the themes are universal and I believe it will resonate deeply in the hearts of folks who check this movie out.
Q: What were some of the most memorable moments in the making of this movie?
The Oklahoma crew was amazing. So kind and giving. I was blown away by how hard they worked and the on-set vibe was super-supportive and positive. I would say that of the cast as well. They are all legitimately wonderful human beings. So fun to not just work with, but also be around. I think the most memorable element of Imagine for me was how tight-knit the cast and crew felt on this one. It doesn't always go that way.
Q: Can you remember the first time you heard the song "I Can Only Imagine"? What first grabbed you about the song?
I was a guest musician at a youth camp in Texas, and some of the kids had taken the time to learn the entire song in sign language. They performed it with such passion, in front of the entire camp. It was a very special moment for sure.
Q: What did you learn more about God and faith through the making of this film?
What I have come to understand is that we are all wired differently. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, even spiritually. One of my spiritual weaknesses I have discovered about myself is that I, by nature, am a very unforgiving person. If someone wrongs me, it's almost impossible for me to let it go. But I have felt a shift in myself, even while working on this film. To see all that Bart forgave as I wrote, edited, and scored the film ... It's had a profound impact on me. I believe that God wants us to life a life of total forgiveness of others. That's a hard road to walk for me, but I feel that I am much closer to the path now, having worked on this film.