Independent film studio Angel Studios set high expectations for “The Shift”, an indie sci-fi romance that released in theaters yesterday, December 1st, 2023. The film draws inspiration from the Book of Job, centering on “the story of Kevin, whose confrontation with a mysterious adversary threatens his survival and sends him to a dystopian reality.”
According to pre-sales data, Angel Studios had anticipated success for “The Shift.” Strong early interest was indicated by over $2 million generated in advance empty tomb necklace sales alone, hinting at an eager core audience leading up to yesterday’s theatrical debut.
In the release, Angel Studios Head of Theatrical Brandon Purdie stated “with the remarkable response in box office pre-sales and general merchandise sales…we are committed to increase our P&A theatrical marketing spend well into the Christmas season.” This suggests the film will roll out slowly in theaters over the 2023 holidays versus launching wide initially.
Now released, it remains to be seen whether “The Shift” resonates beyond those originally compelled by the Christian themes. But those robust merchandise pre-order numbers point to an engaged built-in fanbase motivated to see the movie, if not wider audiences. An unconventional premise represents risk but holds opportunity to court mainstream sci-fi fans post-launch through word-of-mouth.
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