‘Sound of Freedom’ Surpasses ‘The Godfather’ in Box Office Surprise

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Surprise summer hit Sound of Freedom has now edged past classic 1972 film The Godfather in dollar-for-dollar box office earnings.

Released on the Fourth of July, the intense thriller is based on the life of former Homeland Security special agent Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel. It follows Ballard as he sets up Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), an anti-child-trafficking organization. He also embarks on a mission to rescue two Honduran children sold into sex slavery in Colombia.

The movie, which made its streaming debut on Amazon’s Prime Video service last month, rounded out 2023 as the United States’ 10th highest-earning movie of the year, behind the likes of box office juggernauts Barbie and Oppenheimer.

With a current total of $184,178,046 pulled in at the domestic box office and $66,392,350 earned internationally, Sound of Freedom‘s $250,570,396 in global box office revenue has allowed it to edge past enduring classic The Godfather, according to figures shared by Box Office Mojo.

From left, Jim Caviezel in the 2023 movie “Sound of Freedom” and Marlon Brando in 1972 movie “The Godfather.” Box office figures show that “Sound of Freedom” has now surpassed “The Godfather” in dollar-for-dollar earnings.
Angel Studios;/Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name, The Godfather was released in the summer of 1972 and went on to enjoy critical and commercial success. Per Box Office Mojo, its earnings currently sit at $136,381,073 domestically and $113,960,743 internationally for a global total of $250,341,816.

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards that year, the film is notable for star turns from the likes of James Caan, Al Pacino and, most notably, Marlon Brando, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as the titular mafia boss Don Vito Corleone but went on to decline the award.

While Sound of Freedom has surpassed The Godfather in a dollar-for-dollar matchup, once the latter’s earnings are adjusted for inflation, it paints a decidedly different picture. In today’s money, The Godfather has earned $1.8 billion in total.

Sound of Freedom has been something of its own talking point among fans since it was released last summer.

In the weeks and months following Sound of Freedom‘s release, a host of moviegoers shared videos on social media, claiming that various theater malfunctions across the U.S. disrupted screenings of the film. Many of them theorized that there was a conspiracy afoot to disrupt the impending success of the movie as unnamed powers in Hollywood purportedly wanted to suppress it.

On its first day of release, the movie enjoyed a strong showing, beating Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny at the U.S. box office. Sound of Freedom earned $14,242,063 on its first day in theaters, while the Indiana Jones flick made $11,698,989 domestically. Sound of Freedom‘s subsequent opening total amounted to a $19.6 million across 2,852 theaters—quite a feat, given its status as an independent film.

Distributed by Angel Studios, Sound of Freedom is the first post-pandemic independent movie to pass the $100 million milestone domestically. It has achieved this against a relatively modest budget of $14.5 million.

David A. Gross, who runs movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, previously told Newyork Verified that Sound of Freedom director Alejandro Monteverde and lead producer Eduardo Verástegui being natives of Mexico may have had some influence on large Hispanic audiences, as well as the setting.

“The story of a man fighting child trafficking in Latin America, and the Christian point of view, resonate with Hispanic values,” Gross said of the film, which has been endorsed by prominent Republicans Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, among others.