‘Sound of Freedom’ Edges Taylor Swift at Box Office to Finish in Top 10 for 2023

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The 10th-highest-grossing movie of 2023 is a faith-centric movie, thanks to a narrow win at the box office over Taylor Swift’s concert film.

Angel Studio’s Sound of Freedom finished No. 10 at the box office for 2023 with a gross of $184,177,725, edging Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which landed at No. 11 with $179,635,196, according to data at For 2023, Sound of Freedom topped movies with significantly bigger budgets, including No. 12 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny ($174 million), No. 13 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One ($172 million) and No. 17 Elemental ($154 million). Indiana Jones and Elemental both are Disney films. 

Sound of Freedom was the surprise hit of the summer, opening at No. 1 on the Fourth of July and grabbing the top spot three more times. The PG-13 film tells the true story of government agent Tim Ballard, who quits his job at the Department of Homeland Security so he can dedicate his life to rescuing children in other countries from sex trafficking. Jim Caviezel portrays Ballard.

It received an A+ CinemaScore grade from moviegoers. 

Sound of Freedom is the only wide release in Hollywood history to have a second-weekend increase greater than 35 percent at the summer box office. Movies typically decrease in revenue from their first weekend to their second weekend. 

Barbie ($636 million) was the No. 1 grossing movie of 2023, followed by The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($574 million), Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ($381 million), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ($358 million), Oppenheimer ($326 million), The Little Mermaid ($298 million), Avatar: The Way of Water ($283 million), Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ($214 million) and John Wick: Chapter 4 ($187 million) at No. 9. 

Producer Eduardo Verastegui told Fox and Friends the movie represents eight years of his life. 

“I put my life in this movie because this movie is bigger than ourselves,” he said. 

At first, he made a deal with Fox. But that deal disappeared when Disney bought Fox. Verastegui said Disney told him, “This material doesn’t resonate with us.”

He eventually partnered with Angel Studios.

“I was praying to God for an angel to come and rescue this film,” Verastegui said. “And what are the odds that from all the studios, the one that picked this movie is called Angel Studios?”

Related: ‘Sound of Freedom’ Director Announces New Movie, ‘Cabrini’: It’s an ‘Unbelievable Story’

Photo Courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Roman Valiev
Video Courtesy: Angel Studios via YouTube

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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