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God's Not Dead producers say latest movie is a bigger hit than expected

'Unplanned', which is being screened across 1,059 theatres in the United States, was made by Pure Flix - the company behind the 'God's Not Dead' film series.

Chief executive officer, Michael Scott said: "We are very happy for the success of this film."

Pure Flix had expected the picture to gross $3 million during its first days in cinemas.

The film tells of how Abby Johnson left her post at Planned Parenthood to campaign for the rights of unborn babies.

Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult to see 'Unplanned', which has been awarded an R rating by inspectors.

According to Deadline Hollywood, several US cable television networks refused to grant the film air-time for advertising - but Fox News and religious broadcaster TBN did.

'Unplanned' received the backing of US Vice President Mike Pence who described it as "deeply inspiring."

Michael Scott continued: "To bring the story of Abby Johnson to audiences and have them show up in such large numbers shows how the topic of abortion is so important to bring to audiences.

"We hope that those on both sides of the debate will see Unplanned and begin to have their own dialogue. This film can be that spark to bring more hearts and minds to understanding the value of life."

The film performed best in the Midwestern and southern states, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

'Unplanned' experience the third-most lucrative opening weekend by a Pure Flix production - following 'God's Not Dead' ($9.2 million) and 'God's Not Dead 2' ($7.6 million).

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