The filmmakers behind “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” have questioned why hundreds of theaters have dropped the pro-life movie despite a very strong opening performance.
They also shared various reports of moviegoers being misled or flat-out prevented from buying tickets to the movie, noting that there are too many incidents to simply be dismissed as a coincidence.
“Gosnell,” which retells the investigation, arrest, and trial of real-life abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, broke into the top 10 at the box office last week, earning $1,235,000 on just 668 screens.
On Friday, the film’s domestic gross hit $2,000,000, but that was not enough to stop nearly 200 theaters from dropping the film.
“I can tell you from my experience in 15 years of releasing movies independently, we’re in uncharted territories,” John Sullivan, the film’s producer and marketing director, told the Daily Wire.
“It is an impacted fall, no doubt about it, but the fact that we’ve been dropped from theaters where the movie is the number 6 or number 9 movie is just something you don’t see,” he added.
“It’s hard not to believe it isn’t about the content of the movie.”
Sullivan explained that some of the theaters that have dropped the film include top multiplexes where it was performing strongly.
“We’ve been the number 6 in a 15-plex and it gets dropped this week. We’ve been number 9 in a 30-plex and we’re getting dropped this week. There are about 15 theaters like that where typically you would not get dropped,” he stated.
“I do recognize it’s a crowded marketplace — ‘Halloween [had a] a huge opening,” he added, referring to the horror movie. “But it’s very odd to me that you’re within the top 10 and you’re getting dropped out of a movie house.”
What is more, the “Gosnell” filmmakers said that they have been receiving various reports from people who say they tried buying tickets to the movie but were told that it was “sold out” when it wasn’t.
“This has come at an unprecedented level for us,” Sullivan said.
“One report out of Nashville had people being told the movie sold out simply because they didn’t have the staff to cover the theater, and they chose our [movie] to do that to. Why? Too many things have stacked up and it just doesn’t smell right.”
Some Facebook users said they were refunded tickets they bought to see the movie at an AMC theater. They were told that the theater would not be showing it, without any further explanation.
In other instances, customers claimed that theaters have chosen not to show promotional photos for “Gosnell,” even though every other movie was given one.
Christian author Karen Swallow Prior argued last week that much like the stories of Catholic sex abuse in America, at least initially, the horrors that went on in Gosnell’s abortion clinic have also been ignored by the media and the public en masse.
Prior said that “as horrific as Gosnell’s malpractice was,” it rivals “the systemic regulatory and community failures and incompetence that enabled him to continue unchecked for so many years.”