New Lionsgate film "I Can Only Imagine," which is based on the true story behind the 2001 MercyMe hit song, had a smashing success at the box office during its premiere weekend. Shattering pre-weekend tracking expectations, it became No. 3 at the box-office this weekend, and the No. 1 faith-based movie so far in 2018.
The movie is based on the life Bart Millard, frontman of the Christian, Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling band MercyMe, who penned the mega-hit after the loss of his father to cancer. "I Can Only Imagine" took in an estimated $17,064,640 for a per-screen average of $10,475 from 1,629 locations in North America.
Just ahead of the motion picture's theatrical release, MercyMe unveiled their new greatest hits album I Can Only Imagine - The Very Best Of MercyMe, featuring 13 of the group's most well-loved songs, hand-picked by the members of the band, along with a special version of the monumental hit dubbed "I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Session)."
Riding on the success of the film, the original 2001 recording of "I Can Only Imagine" has seen a surge in demand as well. Along with the best of album, the double-platinum selling track has seen an increase in streams and sales, recently hitting No. 4 on the Overall Albums iTunes Chart and No. 7 on the Overall Singles iTunes Chart.
MercyMe is currently on the road with the "MercyMe LIVE Tour" with fellow artists Tenth Avenue North and special guest Tim Timmons, and will tour throughout April with stops in Omaha, Tulsa, Minneapolis and more. So far the three-month tour has been visiting markets across the East Coast, including a sold-out concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium where "I Can Only Imagine" actor Dennis Quaid performing as Dennis & The Sharks made a surprise appearance, with local music magazine Music Row heralding the show as "triumphant."
This fall, the band will reprise the lineup with Tenth Avenue North for the "The Imagine Nation Tour" hitting 20 markets across the U.S. Pre-sale for the tour begins today with the latest at the band's official website.