The early word on Kirk Cameron's Fireproof hinted that the religious-themed drama would pack a wallop at the specialty box office in late 2008. But $33 million? Holy Christ, indeed.
The year-end tally features Fireproof — which stars Cameron as a firefighter attempting to salvage his marriage via God's precious love (spoiler: it works!) — atop an impressive pile of awards hopefuls including Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Rachel Getting Married and even The Visitor, whose renown as this year's preeminent indie sensation nevertheless was good for only $9.4 million since opening last April. Fireproof accrued more than three times as much since the end of September, never expanding beyond 905 screens.
Slumdog will surpass Fireproof as it expands next year, likely en route to $55 million as it lines up its imminent Oscar nods. But until then, spread the news among jittery insiders looking for a safe place to drop their money: Kirk Cameron is a recession-proof industry. Eat your heart out, Hayden Christensen.