Audiences congregated Wednesday for Sony's faith-based film "Heaven Is for Real," which kicked off the Easter weekend with an opening day gross of $3.7 million from 2,417 locations.
The feature adaptation of Todd Burpo's real-life book, from director Randall Wallace ("We Were Soldiers"), received mostly mixed reviews from critics. Though based on its 'A' CinemaScore, Sony is confident the film will ride strong word-of-mouth among mostly religious auds throughout the holiday weekend.
Paramount's "Noah" and Freestyle Releasing's box office standout "God's Not Dead," which so far has grossed more than $42 million domestically. Even with "Heaven Is for Real" entering the market, "God's Not Dead" fell just 25% on Wednesday, playing at 1,860 engagements.
"Heaven Is for Real," which stars Greg Kinnear, Thomas Haden Church and Kelly Reilly, centers on a young Midwestern boy, who goes through a near-death experience and comes back with knowledge of heaven.
Also bowing wide this weekend are Warner Bros.' Johnny Depp thriller "Transcendence," Open Road's comedy spoof "A Haunted House 2" and Disneynature's wildlife docu "Bears."