“Fireproof,” starring Kirk Cameron, was the highest-grossing independent movie of 2008, according to Indie Wire.
Earning $33 million that year, it out-grossed "Vicky Cristina Barcelona” at $23 million and "Slumdog Millionaire" at $20 million.
Although the earning numbers changed in 2009 after the awards season – “Slumdog” went on to earn the Oscar for best picture. “Fireproof” found its own trajectory of success.
“People are hungry for hope and for help when it comes to marriage and family,” Cameron said of the continued interest in the movie and its message.
The movie, about a fireman who tries to rescue his doomed marriage with the sacrificial love of Jesus, was not only shown in theaters but also in churches.
“Fireproof” also inspired a New York Times bestseller, “Love Dare,” based on a fictional book in the movie. Barnes and Noble reports 5 million copies sold. The book challenges the reader to do one unconditional act of love for his or her spouse every day for 40 days.
And the movie has given birth to Cameron’s speaking tour, “Love Worth Fighting For,” which comes to Northside Baptist Church in the University City area of Charlotte on Oct. 26. The tour is in its fifth year and almost fully booked through 2014.
In describing the tour, Cameron said, “It’s taking the movie and turning it into a live event and touring it to cities around the country.”
Why is an actor qualified to speak about marriage?
Cameron, who has been married to his wife for 22 years, is perhaps no more or less qualified to speak than anyone else married for 20-plus years. He just happens to have a great platform, the movie “Fireproof” and his own fame, from which to compel people into a much-needed conversation about unconditional love.
Cameron and his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, have six children, ages 10-19, whom they homeschool. Their family does not sound too different than most.
“It’s so easy for things to get so crowded and so busy – with schedules, soccer practice, school, homework and jobs – that you can very easily have no time left for one another,” Cameron said. “We understand the importance of time and the importance of being on the same page when it comes to our kids, goals, values and faith.”
The couple has recently spent time together by co-starring in an upcoming movie, in which they play a husband and wife. The movie, not yet released, is called “The Mercy Rule,” which Cameron describes as a “family Little League baseball film.”
They have acted together before in the “Left Behind” movies and the 1980s TV show “Growing Pains,” where they first met. The couple also try to set aside one evening a week to be alone together.
“The way you get a great marriage involves spending lots of time together,” Cameron said. “It’s kind of like a great bottle of wine: it takes time to mature and become something really special.”