4 items from 2014
To be in a top-grossing movie, an actor no longer needs to be part of a huge cast in an action film, a reboot of a classic, or a sequel; he or she can be part of a thought-provoking indie, such as Pure Flix Entertainment’s recent “God’s Not Dead.” Opening on 780 screens the same weekend as “Muppets Most Wanted,” “God’s Not Dead” ended the weekend at No. 3 in the box office, averaging nearly $12,000 per screen. And as Pure Flix co-founder and actor David A.R. White says months later, still awed, “We were in the top 10 even five weeks after!” Those are numbers any filmmaker would kill for, made even more remarkable by how little mainstream marketing Pure Flix gave the film. “We marketed through a lot of social media,” White says of the film that pits a devout Christian student against his atheist professor. “We’ve started »
In his afternoon keynote presentation at today’s Purpose Summit at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles, Michael Scott, managing partner of Pure Flix and producer of “God’s Not Dead,” spoke about his goal to “make faith and family films that lift the human spirit.”
“We want you to feel the victories and the values that reflect the Christian values that we represent,” Scott told the crowd during a conversation moderated by Variety associate editor Jenelle Riley.
Scott and partners David A.R. White and Russell Wolfe launched Pure Flix, headquartered in Scottsdale, Az., in 2005 with a mission to produce, distribute and acquire “Christ centered movies,” and the gamble has been successful. “God’s Not Dead” earned $9.2 million during its opening weekend in March, and has since netted $60 million in domestic box office earnings.
Which is all to say, argued Scott, that faith-based films are not a “niche” market.
- Malina Saval
It’s no secret that Christian-themed films have the potential to be box office gold, but even though faith-based audiences are starved for more material, it doesn’t always pan out the way studios might hope.
While Paramount’s expensive and provocative Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah continues to climb the steep slope toward domestic profitability and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s Son of God failed to reach Passion of the Christ heights (after seven weeks in theaters it still hasn’t even made Passion’s opening weekend numbers), the independently released God’s Not Dead came out of nowhere »
- Lindsey Bahr
God’s Not Dead, a Christian indie film featuring cameos from Duck Dynasty duo, Willie and Korie Robertson, made an impressive splash at the box office this weekend, earning $8.6 million in only 780 theaters.
'God's Not Dead' Movie
God’s Not Dead profited from a growing social media campaign and also gained audiences by partnering with Winter Jam, a Christian music festival. Directed by Harold Cronk, whose previous credits include Jerusalem Countdown and War Prayer, God’s Not Dead follows college student Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) who suffers a crisis when his philosophy professor declares that God does not exist.
In the film, Josh needs to either admit, “God is Dead,” or be prepared to defend God’s existence and risk failing the course. The film was produced and distributed by Christian movie studio Pure Flix Entertainment, whose mission is to make “Christ centered films with positive messages that »
4 items from 2014
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