When, last month, we first caught wind of Fireproof, the faith-based action spectacular starring Kirk Cameron as a hero fireman trying to save his marriage — AND THE WORLD! — we knew it was something special. And now it’s a hit! On Fandango, Fireproof is beating the rest of this week’s movies (including Shia LaBeouf’s Eagle Eye) in advance ticket sales. According to the L.A. Times, mass purchases from Christian groups could help the film do some respectable box-office numbers. The precedent is 2006’s Facing the Giants from Sherwood Pictures (the same studio behind Fireproof), a tiny high-school football movie that somehow cracked $10 million at the box office. And, as Michael Silberman of the movie’s distributor Samuel Goldwyn points out, Fireproof is opening on 800 screens, twice as many as Giants.
Does this have anything to do with the film’s steamy non-sex scenes? Cameron explained to the Today show yesterday that he refuses to kiss any woman who’s not his wife — which meant that, for the movie’s onscreen smooch, Kirk’s wife, Chelsea Noble, was actually dressed up as the lead actress and the scene was shot in silhouette. Is it any wonder, then, that Love Dare, the fictional book Kirk’s character’s father gives him in the movie in order to help him with his marital woes (it “challenges him to do one thing every day that really exemplifies the true nature of love”) is being published in real life and already has 500,000 preorders (according to Kirk, anyway)? Could Fireproof actually become a phenomenon? Better this than Eagle Eye, we guess.