Courageous takes on fatherhood and religion

Sep 29, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Four law enforcement officers learn that finding courage on the streets is sometimes easier than coming through as a good father in Courageous. The new faith-based film goes into limited release Friday, propelled by a strong grassroots effort.

The Christian film Courageous opens on only 2,000 screens Sept. 30, but has already managed to top ticket pre-sales for the weekend on Fandango. The cop drama promises big action, but focuses on fatherhood, religion and faith as it tells the tale of four police officers who realize they haven't been making the grade as fathers and turn to each other and the Bible for guidance.

Courageous hits theaters this weekend

"Riveted moviegoers will find themselves laughing, crying, and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children," promises the movie's website.

With a strong grassroots marketing campaign aimed at churches, Courageous is currently leading the pre-sales race for this weekend on Fandango, beating out The Lion King 3D, Moneyball, Dolphin Tale 3D and Drive. With only a limited run, however, it likely won't manage to beat them in the actual box office race this weekend.

The film is the fourth installment from Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Their last film, Fireproof, launched with a similar campaign and went on to bank an impressive ?$33 million. Courageous is Sherwood's biggest venture yet, with a $1 million budget, but as with their former features, about of half the Courageous cast and crew were volunteers from the church.

New York Times best-selling author and Associate Pastor Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote all four films with his brother Stephen Kendrick, also starred and directed. Pastor Ken Bevel, Kevin Downes and former running-back Tony Stallings also star.

Courageous Trailer


Images: Sherwood Pictures