Blog Post

Faith-Based “Sound of Freedom” Rocks the Box Office

The Passion of the Christ star Jim Caviezel has scored another huge hit at the box office with Sound of Freedom, a recreation of the true story of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security Agent who went on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia.

Variety is reporting on the success of the film starring Caviezel as Tim Ballard and Mira Sorvina as Ballard’s wife. The film, which opened on July 4 with the backing of independent Angel Studios, collected $40 million in the first six days of its release which was enough to place it in the top three films of the Independence Day holiday alongside Insidious: The Red Door, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

“As with our July 4th numbers, today’s numbers exceed our expectations, and we’re going to continue this momentum,” Brandon Purdie, head of theatrical distribution at Angel Studios said in a statement. “We’re getting messages from all over the country telling us about packed theaters, sold-out theaters and spontaneous standing ovations for the film in numerous locations. Seeing this film has become a must, thanks to incredible word-of-mouth.”

The success of the film, which was completed in 2018 but kept out of theaters for five years by studio executives who disagreed with the faith and politics of its creators, is especially noteworthy because of it’s limited audience. Sound of Freedom is only playing in 2,850 theaters in North America whereas Insidious and Indiana Jones are playing to 3,188 and 4,600 theaters respectively.

Thankfully, AMC, Cinemark and Regal, three of the biggest movie theater chains in the country, had “the courage to release Sound of Freedom during the busiest movie season of the year,” Purdue applauded.

The film's success was also fueled by the backing religious and conservative media groups along with a robust crowdfunding effort.

“The Utah-based Angel Studios used other unconventional efforts to promote the film, including an app that allows people to buy and then donate tickets to those who can’t afford the price of admission,” Variety reports. “About $2.6 million of opening day sales were earned through the ‘Pay It Forward’ app, which the company framed as a way to raise awareness about child trafficking.”

The film accomplishes this mission with a thrilling plot that follows a former government agent named Tim Ballard who quits his job working child crimes and child trafficking cases as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security. He spent most of his time investigating the people who were exploiting children but wanted to do more to help the children. Even when the laws changed in 2006 and allowed agents to travel oversees and actually arrest the traffickers, he was never given enough time to find the children and rescue them.

As Ballard told the Daily Signal, “'I’d be given a week or whatever to find them... But if I couldn’t find them, back to the United States. They'd say: ‘Come home,’ and I'd say, But I’ve seen kids I can rescue.’ And they'd say, ‘Doesn’t matter. Come home’.”

Finally, in 2012, everything came to a head while he was working on two major cases in Haiti and Columbia and was once again told to stop and come home. He just couldn’t do it and decided to quit his job and embark on the dangerous mission himself. In real life, he went on to rescue a total of 120 women and children during the mission although the film only portrayed him as saving 50. He would eventually found Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), an anti-trafficking nonprofit organization that is devoted to rescuing innocent children who have been caught up in the dark web of child trafficking and exploitation.

The Sound of Freedom does a good job of presenting the nature and scope of these horrendous crimes against children, but it only focuses on one mission, Ballard explained.

“The film only gets into a piece of it. The movie didn’t have time to get into it. But there’s so much more attached to that whole story.”

There are also some aspects of the movie that are not based on fact, such as a scene where Ballard kills a man and another where he poses as a doctor who searches through the jungle to find a little girl. Ballard and his undercover operatives do not use guns, and the scene about Ballard posing as a doctor actually occurred in Haiti where Ballard led a team of operatives who posed as doctors in their search for a child.

Although the problem of child trafficking has not been resolved, the success of this film has raised awareness of the issue and brought it to the attention of many Americans who are unaware that their tax dollars are actually funding these activities due to the government’s “open door” policy at the border.

In fiscal year 2022, federal authorities encountered 152,057 unaccompanied minors at the border. To date, 91,380 have been encountered in 2023 with thousands of these children being under five years old.

“Why is a three-year-old showing up at the border?” Ballard asked during the interview with the Signal. “Well, I can tell you why, because they show up with a name. The name of the sponsor that they’re given by the trafficker.”

There was a time when the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to contact the sponsor who would have to fly to the border to pick up the child.

“Not anymore,” Ballard said. “Our taxpayer dollars will then send the kid by plane or bus to this …sponsor, no background check, no DNA, nothing. And they deliver the kids,” Ballard noted. “Our taxpayer dollars are literally, for the first time in American history, our taxpayer dollars are going to facilitate the last leg of a child-trafficking event,” he said.

“Those kids pray for a wall,” he added. “The wall will save their lives.”

Hopefully, Sound of Freedom and Ballard’s continuing efforts will help to save many more children in the future.

You can purchase tickets at, or purchase tickets to allow others to see the film at

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