Pro-Life Movie 'Unplanned' Mysteriously Loses 99K Twitter Followers Despite Box Office Win
The pro-life movie Unplanned surprised at the box office its opening weekend, taking 5th place with $6.1 million. That didn't stop Twitter from attacking the film twice in one weekend, however.
The movie's Twitter account was briefly suspended on Saturday, mere hours after its release on Friday. On Sunday, the account seems to have mysteriously lost 99,000 of its 100,000 followers.
"Wow!!! 100K Followers," the Unplanned account tweeted on Sunday afternoon. "Thanks to everyone who has helped us to achieve this milestone. When [Twitter] suspended our account you came together as a strong voice. We are so very grateful for the enormous support you've show at the box office."
As of Sunday evening, the account had dropped to 151 followers.
The number of followers increased to 1,402, but that still falls far short of the film's 100,000 followers. PJ Media asked Twitter for an explanation.
According to Adrienne Royer, Twitter forces users to "unfollow" the account. If a user clicks the "follow" button, it turns blue, saying the user is "following" the account, but as soon as the page is refreshed, the user is no longer following the account.
I attempted to follow the page, but the same thing happened to me.
Despite the Twitter suspension and sudden mysterious loss of followers, Unplanned racked up more than $6.1 million at the box office, despite being predicted to take in only $2-3 million. Even more impressive, the film only played on 1,060 screens, earning an average of $5,770 per screen.
On Sunday, the film announced that its distributor, Pure Flix, will add an additional 600 screens for a count of 1,700 screens next week.
The movie also earned an A+ rating from CinemaScore, and it has a 93 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.
"We are very happy for the success of this film," Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott said in a statement. "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."
Ashely Bratcher played Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director who resigned to join the pro-life movement. Bratcher herself was almost aborted — her mother had scheduled an abortion but changed her mind at the last minute.
Neither Twitter nor its CEO, Jack Dorsey, nor Bratcher returned PJ Media's requests for comment by press time.
Update 11:24 p.m.: When Unplanned appealed the "suspension," Twitter supposedly lifted it. However, I still am unable to "follow" the film's Twitter account.
Armani Salado, the youngest congressional candidate in the 2020 race, tweeted a video of his failed attempts to "follow" the account.
Update 11:35 p.m.: While the Twitter account has jumped up to 86.9K followers, when users click on the number, they see the message "Unplanned Movie doesn't have any followers yet."
Update 9:20 a.m. Monday: Finally the glitch appears to have been fixed. Now Unplanned is up to 226K followers — twice as many as it had before the mysterious Twitter attack.
The account claims "Unplanned" should be trending on Twitter but is not.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.