Critics call film a programmed success as viewers in half-empty shows report being given tickets by controversial church
Brazils biggest cinema hit in more than a decade is a biopic of a powerful evangelical bishop that has broken box office records.
Theres just one problem: the sold-out film fails to fill cinemas.
Nothing to Lose (Nada a Perder) tells the story of Edir Macedo, the founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God a controversial and influential evangelical church that has extended its operations to 110 countries and claims nearly 10 million followers worldwide.
Part-funded and promoted by Record, the television channel that Macedo owns, the film has sold nearly 9m tickets, according to the monitoring firm comScore, making it the biggest-selling Brazilian film since comScore started measuring box-office returns in 2002.
But it plays to rows of empty seats.
When the movie opened on the last weekend of March, the Folha de S Paulo newspaper went to nine cinemas in So Paulo but found the screenings were half-empty. Customers said they had been given tickets by their local Universal church.
The film tells the story of Macedo as he built his evangelical empire and faced off with the establishment.