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 ‘The surprise hit of the summer’

After shocking the film industry with its success in the U.S., “Sound of Freedom” has gone on to do the same internationally.

The film outperformed the latest installments of both the “Indiana Jones” and “Mission Impossible” film series to become what Newsweek called “the surprise hit of the summer” after opening on July 4 weekend.

Despite its dark themes of child abduction and sex trafficking, or perhaps because of them, the film has brought in over $182 million — more than 12 times its budget.

Industry experts were skeptical that its success would continue outside the borders of the U.S., but “Sound of Freedom” has been defying the so-called experts over and over again.

“While ‘Sound of Freedom’ was a huge success in the U.S. these films don’t travel well outside the U.S.,” Paul Ferrer, whom Newsweek described as a “box office expert and movie blogger,” told the outlet last month.

“These films,” according to Newsweek, meant films with Christian themes.

“Sony have had huge success with their Affirm Studios but the majority of box office came from the U.S.,” Ferrer said. “You only need to see how films like ‘Heaven is for Real’ and the recent George Foreman film [‘Big George Foreman’] took 90 percent U.S. and 10 percent international.”

Chalk up another expert opinion belied by real-world facts.

“We’re seeing packed theaters, standing ovations, widespread enthusiasm, and strong word-of-mouth from Buenos Aires to Mexico City to Bogota to Caracas, Lima, and beyond,” Angel Studios’ Chief Distribution Officer Jared Geesey told Newsweek.

In fact, while “Sound of Freedom” sold two million advance tickets in the U.S. in a week, Latin American sales hit that mark in only four days.

Now, Newsweek reports, the film sits in the No. 1 spot in 18 countries across South and Central America and the Caribbean.

During its first weekend, “Sound of Freedom” also hit the No. 1 spot in New Zealand, the No. 2 spot in Australia and South Africa, and the No. 4 spot in the United Kingdom, according to Newsweek.

The film’s screenwriter and director, Alejandro Monteverde, didn’t seem surprised by the international success.

“We were told we only have a 1 percent chance to be successful, but it was our audience that came out and defended [the movie] … and it’s thanks to the audience that we survived the attacks [from the critics],” he told Newsweek.

Part of the reason for its success in Mexico, he said, was because he and producer Eduardo Verástegui, also played Paul in the film, hail from Mexico and are well-known there.

“In Mexico we have more access to media and they also know who we are,” he said. “They know our work and our last film did really well in Mexico.”

Tim Ballard, the former Homeland Security operative played by Jim Caviezel in the film, has also grown a large fan base among Hispanic Americans through his anti-trafficking work with Operation Underground Railroad.

The movie is still in some theaters in the U.S., and can be streamed on Vudu, according to JustWatch.

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