Sound of Freedom director Alejandro Monteverde recently praised the millions of moviegoers who went to see the film and defended it from attacks from the mass media.
Sound of Freedom has grossed $181 million domestically and another $1.4 million internationally for a global gross of $182.4 million.
The movie has only released internationally in Australia and New Zealand and Angel Studios has plans for a much larger international release that will likely drive the film’s revenue potentially over $200 million or more.
The film is one of the highest grossing films domestically in 2023. It currently sits in 9th spot just behind John Wick: Chapter 4, which grossed $187.1 million. It beat out Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny as well as Mission: Impossible Dead – Reckoning Part One.
In a recent discussion about the film with Newsweek, Monteverde explained the success of the film, “It is a word-of -mouth film. You’re not going to walk in the street and see a billboard [promoting it], because we don’t have the marketing resources to do that.”
He then heaped praise on moviegoers who went to see it and spread the word about it, “The success has happened from people telling people go see this film because[…]this movie has been attacked in many ways, and the audience are the ones that came out and defended it.”
As far as how it’s been attacked, Newsweek reported he described it as being “‘victimized’ and ‘bullied’ by mass media and social media users.”
Monteverde explained, “The main problem was labeling. That is [the] most dangerous that we can do to each other, is to label ourselves. If you’re gonna dare label something, you better have a PhD or be an expert.”
“They didn’t take the time to ask questions like, ‘what was the motive of making this movie?’ All I wanted was to make a movie to create a conversation, a social dialogue, on this subject matter on child trafficking,” he elaborated.
“I didn’t want to give answers, I just wanted to propose a theme and to create a question, that’s it[…]but it got out of control,” he added.
Monteverde then returned to praise moviegoers for defending the film, him, and everyone involved in its production, “But I’m just so excited that the audience came out and defended us.
“It was the audience that are the heroes. Otherwise we will not have been able to survive this,” he concluded.
Sound of Freedom actor and producer Eduardo Verástegui previously responded to detractors of the film, specifically CNN guest Mike Rothschild, who trashed the film.
Verástegui told Steve Bannon during an appearance on War Room, “I’m glad that at least they are in your face. So there’s evidence who wants to support a movement that is designed to end child trafficking and who doesn’t. So it’s right there in your face.”
“And people know what’s going,” he continued. “And they know there is a lot of people involved in this crime, everywhere. When we talk about more than $150 billion business that means there is a lot of people involved in this crime.
He then said, “And for someone to say, you know, ‘Don’t go see this movie. Don’t waste your time.’ I mean, come on. For someone to say this is just Tim Ballard and Jim Caviezel, that is just not true. There are thousands of people involved in this movement. More than three million people went to see this film this week.”
“And I’ve been getting calls from Columbia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Argentina,” Verástegui detailed. “Every day my phone is like — it’s hot right now. So many phone calls. ‘When is the movie coming out here? When is the movie?— Asia, Europe. I mean this is a global movement. CNN is not going to stop this. I’m sorry, but CNN Is not going to stop this movement. There is no way they’re going to stop this movement. It’s too late, Steve. It’s too late. You know what? They tried, but it’s too late.”
“They can take me. They can take Tim. They can take Jim. They can take you,” he asserted. “They cannot take millions of millions of people that are tired. They already said enough is enough is enough. No! Don’t mess with the children. And people are angry.”
“And I’m just so glad, it’s a privilege for me that God used broken instruments, broken instruments like me, like [Sound of Freedom director] Alejandro [Monteverde], like you, and we’re being used by Him,” he said.
Actor Jim Caviezel, who played Tim Ballard in the film, also responded to the film’s detractors during a Q&A session alongside Monteverde with Angel Studios Chief Content Officer Jeff Harmon.
After Harmon noted this is a victory for the film and noting that “they can’t ignore this issue,” Caviezel responded, “They’re scared. Quaking in their boots and it’s because the public are listening to their hearts, which is what this film tells you do.”
“When there is evil, real evil in the world, and when love is in your heart, boy, evil is just a coward to God,” he added.
Monteverde then added, “One thing that’s amazing is, you know, we make movies for the audience. And I understand, you know, the critics world, but I like to focus on the audience, and the audience are responding. They’re the most important for us as filmmakers, as storytellers, and the audience are giving us 100% and that’s where I want to stay.”
He then shared a story he heard from the film’s producer Eduardo Verástegui, “When an eagle is flying and the crows go behind, like they come in packs and they go behind the eagle to try to put her down with their weight, the eagle instead of fighting the crows, what the eagle does is continues to fly higher because eagles can actually breathe with less oxygen. So they go really, really, really high. They continue to fly high and then the crows instead of fighting them, the crows just completely [fall off] because of lack of oxygen.”
Monteverde then related it to the film’s criticism, “I like that symbolism. Instead of fighting any negativeness or anything, they just keep flying up. Let’s keep going.”
When Harmon brought up that negative reviews of the film feature Caviezel’s personal beliefs and his politics, Caviezel responded, “It’s really funny when they don’t like my politics because my politics are the Constitution of the United States.”
He continued, “I want everybody to be free under the Constitution of the United States with inalienable rights including unborn and born children. They have a right. And that’s why we are not NAZI Germany. This is ridiculous.”
What they say about me is really none of my business,” Caviezel said. “Not when you have children, now. You don’t care anymore and you realize what we’re gonna leave them.”
“So this is our Concord Bridge except it’s not coming with a bullet, it’s coming with a film. And Sound of Freedom is that. It is that freedom,” he concluded.
What do you make of Alejandro Monteverde’s recent comments defending the film from its detractors?