'Sound of Freedom' Global Tally Tops $250M, Besting Blockbusters 'Batman Forever,' 'The Fugitive'
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The Sound of Freedom, the low-budget faith-based drama about battling child trafficking released last July, has reached another milestone, topping more than $250 million at the global box office.
BoxOfficeMojo.com released its latest list of the Top Lifetime Grosses of movies by MPAA Rating on Jan. 17. Sound of Freedom, the Angel Studios film, currently ranks at 151, and amazingly is only behind perennial favorite Dances with Wolves (released in 1990) by a little more than $30,000 in ticket sales.
According to the list, Sound of Freedom has so far made more at the worldwide box office in the last six months overall than major studio films like Batman Forever (1995), The Fugitive (1993), Ocean's Eleven ( 2001), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Lincoln (2012), and even Jurassic Park III (2001).
As CBN News reported, Sound of Freedom opened on the Fourth of July as a summer surprise to critics, and it has continued to stun Hollywood with its overwhelming success. The film finished number one on opening weekend, number two on its second weekend, and then finished at number three on its third weekend.
Earlier this month, the movie also finished in the top 10 grossing movies of 2023 with a total box office of $184,177,725, edging out popular favorites like Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, according to BoxOfficeMojo.
The top three highest-grossing films were No. 1 Barbie ($636,225,983), No. 2 The Super Mario Bros. Movie ($574,934,330), and No. 3 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ($381,311,319).
Sound of Freedom was an overwhelming hit with the theater-going audience too, racking up a 99% audience ranking.
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The film is about the true story of former government agent Tim Ballard who quit his job to go and rescue a little girl from sex traffickers in the Colombian jungle. In the process, Ballard ends up saving 123 people, 55 of whom were children, from one mission alone.
The movie stars Jim Caviezel, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Bill Camp, José Zúñiga, and Eduardo Verástegui.
Success came even after critics tried to smear the film as a low-budget feature with QAnon ties, but those baseless attacks didn't deter audiences from supporting the film's mission to expose the real, global problem of child trafficking.
As for those dismissing the movie as being conspiracy theory-oriented, Ballard said the media outlets perpetuating these accusations are lying. "These people coming out against the film … they're lying about it, and they know they are," he said. "Anyone who watches the film knows there's nothing QAnonish or 'QAnon-adjacent.'"
Ballard Responds to Multiple Sexual Assault Allegations
Meanwhile, Ballard, 52, the founder and former CEO of the anti-sex trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), is currently the focus of at least two investigations and several lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct and abuse.
ChurchLeaders.com reports a former assistant to Ballard sued him last month alleging sexual assault. Celeste Borys and her husband filed a lawsuit claiming Ballard had sexually assaulted her in four jurisdictions.
She has reported the assaults to police departments in San Diego, San Clemente, the San Jose suburb of Campbell, and to Los Angeles Airport police, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
"My client's decision to report the assaults in additional jurisdictions speaks to the widespread nature of the traumatic events she and other women have experienced due to Tim Ballard's sexual deviancy," Borys' attorney, Suzette Rasmussen told the outlet. "It emphasizes the critical need for a comprehensive and coordinated effort across jurisdictions to address these heinous acts."
Whitney Bernstein, Ballard's attorney said Borys is motivated by money.
"This is an ever-changing shakedown by someone who said she was in love with Tim," Bernstein said in a statement to The Tribune, "and voluntarily chose to travel and work with him in multiple jobs long after the events she alleges occurred."
The outlet reported that O.U.R. filed a counterclaim against Borys last month, accusing her of violating terms of nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements she had signed. The organization said Borys had defended Ballard against another woman accusing him of misconduct — calling that woman "crazy" and the investigation "fake news" — and remained close to her former boss until roughly a week before filing her suit.
Ballard resigned from the nonprofit organization last June, a spokesman for O.U.R. told Vice News in September.
"This carefully orchestrated media campaign has purposefully left out a number of important facts that will tell a much different story, including a strong financial motivation for making these false claims," Bernstein said. "Tim Ballard has dedicated his life to protecting others, and his behavior toward his former friend and colleague has been consistent with that commitment."
In October 2023, at least five women filed a lawsuit against Ballard in addition to other civil lawsuits against him alleging sexual misconduct and/or assault, according to ChurchLeaders.com.
Ballard has been married to his wife Katherine for more than 20 years. They have nine children with two adopted from Haiti.
Ballard released a statement in September when the allegations first reported by Vice News became public, calling the tabloid-driven sexual allegations "false."
"As with all of the assaults on my character and integrity over many years, the latest tabloid-driven sexual allegations are false. They are baseless inventions designed to destroy me and the movement we have built to end the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable children," the statement said.
"During my time at O.U.R., I designed strict guidelines for myself and our operators in the field. Sexual contact was prohibited, and I led by example. Given our meticulous attention to this issue, any suggestion of inappropriate sexual contact is categorically false," the statement concluded.
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