MercyMe Steps Out In Southlake For The ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Movie Premiere


DFW might not be as famous as Hollywood when it comes to movie premieres, however, Southlake did manage to give them a run for their money this past Saturday. Organizer Wade Myers headed a red carpet release of I Can Only Imagine at the Harkin’s Theatre. It is estimated that nearly 800 people patiently stood in the heat and rain to be part of the milestone event. The premiere included several theatrical screenings, a photo wall with professional photographers, a meet and greet with the band members of MercyMe and movie directors as well as an after party complete with a Q&A panel.

I Can Only Imagine has had unprecedented box office success. The movie has already reached seven times the projected gross earnings for opening weekend. The movie details the life of Bart Millard, MercyMe’s lead singer, and his journey that ultimately led to creating what would arguably become the greatest Christian song of all time.

Those merely looking for a “feel good” movie may be in for a bit of a surprise. Yes, the movie does have a happy ending; nevertheless, the film pulls heavily on your emotional heartstrings from the very beginning. Many times in the movie we see a glimmer of hope during Bart’s trials only to have them quickly dashed again. Luckily, the directors did a good job of adding humorous scenes at just the right moments to keep it from being too heavy. Most people will find it easy to identify with Bart’s struggles regardless of their religious affiliations. While many of us may not have endured physical abuse by a parent, almost everyone can relate to the difficulties of crushed dreams, failed relationships, and difficulties with forgiveness. The Erwin brothers did a spectacular job of drawing in the audience even to the point that you leave the theatre feeling as if you personally know Bart Millard.

Our purpose is to tell stories that are entertaining, emotionally relatable, but also showcase part of the Gospel. – Erwin Brothers

As we see in the final portion of the film, these times of despair are often the very things that mold us and create something amazing. This theme proves to hold true in Bart’s testimony. Even the song itself is a testament to how dark times can transform into something positive and uplifting.

We were leaving the gravesite and my grandmother said, “I can only imagine what he [Bart’s father] is up to now.” I became obsessed with the idea of him being in a better place…I used to write the phrase down on everything I could get my hands on…Whenever we were trying to write a song for our record I literally could not find a page to write on that did not have “imagine” on it. I was a little frustrated at first because I just needed a space to write and then I totally got it. – Bart Millard

I Can Only Imagine is currently playing in theatres around the country. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a meaningful movie that stands out from the sea of sequels and superhero movies at the box office. If interested, you can also find our exclusive interview with Greenville native Bart Millard here.