The epic movie FOR GREATER GLORY opened in Mexico April 20 with the title of CRISTIADA and raced to the No. 1 spot in gross for all admissions at the box office -- and No. 2 overall behind only the 3D release of another epic film, Titanic. CRISTIADA took in $1.06 million over opening.
The film held on to the No. 2 spot April 27-29, bested only by the blockbuster superhero film The Avengers, and has taken in more than $2.2 million at the box office. FOR GREATER GLORY opens June 1 in the U.S.
"This is an international story for the world," said Academy Award® nominee Andy Garcia, who headlines an international cast in FOR GREATER GLORY. "It's a story that needs to be told." Garcia plays General Gorostieta, the retired military man who transformed a roughshod group of Mexican Catholics into a formidable adversary in their fight against the Mexican government's attempts to eliminate the Catholic Church. The Cristero War of the 1920s rocked North America and resulted in thousands of Catholics -- including priests -- being martyred.
FOR GREATER GLORY also stars Golden Globe winner Eva Longoria, Oscar® winner Peter O'Toole, Eduardo Verástegui, and Mauricio Kuri as Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio.
"FOR GREATER GLORY is a top-flight production whose message of the importance of religious freedom has particular resonance for us today," said Most Rev. José Horacio Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles. "It is my earnest hope that people of faith throughout our country will rally behind FOR GREATER GLORY, and in doing so, will highlight the importance of religious freedom in our society."
"My hope is that when people see FOR GREATER GLORY, they will leave entertained, with a spark in their heart, and not afraid to be heroes," said Verástegui, who plays Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez Flores. "I hope they will leave inspired to do the right thing, that they will love more, and that they'll fight for something bigger than themselves and be ready to die to self -- and to learn from the mistakes of the past so that we will not repeat them."
Kuri said his study of the 14-year-old Cristero martyr Blessed Jose helped him understand the importance of FOR GREATER GLORY. "The world needs to know about Blessed Jose and his story," Kuri said. "We know about the persecution of the Nazis, the Chinese, and in Cuba, but we don't know about this. The movie is a good opportunity for people to learn about this."
About For Greater Glory What price would you pay for freedom? In the exhilarating action epic FOR GREATER GLORY (formerly titled CRISTIADA), an impassioned group of men and women each make the decision to risk it all for family, faith and the very future of their country, as General Gorostieta (Garcia), the retired military man who at first thinks he has nothing personal at stake as he and his wife (Longoria) watch Mexico fall into a violent civil war. Yet the man who hesitates in joining the cause will soon become the resistance's most inspiring and self-sacrificing leader, as he begins to see the cost of religious persecution on his countrymen... and transforms a rag-tag band of rebels into a heroic force to be reckoned with. The General faces impossible odds against a powerful and ruthless government. Yet it is those he meets on the journey -- youthful idealists, feisty renegades and, most of all, one remarkable teenager named Jose -- who reveal to him how courage and belief are forged even when justice seems lost.
Shooting on historic locations throughout Mexico, the equally accomplished behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Eduardo Martinez Solares (BAD HABITS), Oscar®-nominated editor Richard Francis-Bruce (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, SEVEN, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE), production designer Salvador Parra (VOLVER) and Oscar®-winning composer James Horner (AVATAR, TITANIC, BRAVEHEART).