T.D. Jakes “Thrilled” with Opening Box Office of New Film

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Bishop T.D. Jakes’ first film, which tackles sexual abuse, landed in the top 10 in the movie box office after its Oct. 1 release. Woman, Thou Art Loosed: The Movie, based on Jakes’ best-selling 1993 book of the same name, opened at No. 6 with $2.5 million, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

“We’re thrilled with the opening,” Jakes, 47, told Charisma. “We’re very optimistic about the response that we’re getting. … There seems to be a groundswell of demand for this movie.”

Starring Kimberly Elise (The Manchurian Candidate) as a woman traumatized by childhood sexual abuse who lands on death row, the movie opened in 408 theaters in 77 cities nationwide, about a tenth the number of Shark Tale, which opened as the top weekend movie with $49.1 million.

Jakes, pastor of the 28,000-member Potter’s House in Dallas, said the film would be shown in more theaters in subsequent weeks, although he didn’t have specific figures. The movie reportedly played before sold-out theaters in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Detroit and Atlanta.

“I didn’t even know what to expect with the movie [in the box office],” Jakes said. “I had no experience in films. Ignorance is bliss. I was really excited for what has emerged. I see [domestic abuse] as an epidemic in our society. I see this movie as a catalyst for deep healing.”

A collaboration between Jakes’ for-profit T.D. Jakes Enterprises and producer Reuben Cannon (Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Get on the Bus), the R-rated Woman, Thou Art Loosed intersperses gritty scenes of sexual abuse, drug use and domestic violence with Jakes preaching a Los Angeles revival and ministering to the condemned prisoner.

Jakes has not revealed the cost of the film, but he said it was funded with his own private money, as well as financing from investors, including talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, director Spike Lee and actor Danny Glover.
­Eric Tiansay

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