Movies with Christian and family-friendly content are getting released in the mainstream film market in the United States, but they are not doing too well at the box office.
Fox Faith Films is a branch of Fox 2000, formerly 20th Century Fox, which distributes films with overt Christian content, from the work of a Christian author, or family-friendly content.
Fox Faith has a library of family-friendly titles on video and some of them are supplemented with discussion guides for church groups. Current theatrical releases are The Last Sin Eater, Thr3e, and The Ultimate Gift.
Most of Fox Faith films aren’t doing extremely well in the US box office. The Last Sin Eater was closed in theaters after two weeks, raking in approximately $400,000 in 429 theaters and Thr3e is still doing business in 458 theaters. It has made $1 US million.
However, other Christian / family friendly movies are doing better.
Amazing Grace has made U.S. $8.2 million in over 700 theaters. Amazing Grace was promoted in churches to block book, and with the film’s release, raise and protest the issue of modern day slavery.
Flicka made US $20 million and Facing the Giants is still doing well in the U.S.
Facing the Giants, a sport meets faith flick, was budgeted at U.S. $100,000 and raked in over U.S. $10 million at the box office in approximately 400 theaters in 2006.
At Christian retailers in the U.S. Facing the Giants was the No. 1 overall DVD, including children’s videos, music videos, and theatrical releases, two weeks running. Between its theatrical close and DVD debut, nearly 3,000 churches showed Facing the Giants using a site license to more than half a million people across the U.S. Money made from the site licensing would be put back into making more films and the ministry earmarked the profits it received from the film for building a community-wide sports complex in their town.
Sherwood Pictures, which oversaw the making of Facing the Giants, is a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, which has an extensive media ministry.
Facing the Giants is set for a June release in New Zealand, according to the international video release schedule on the movie’s website.
Churches in New Zealand could still purchase a site license to legally show the film as an outreach event at www.providentfilms.org. This includes a DVD of the film.
The New Zealand release dates of Christian-based films from the U.S. are hard to pinpoint.
20th Century Fox New Zealand Theatrical Managing Director, Mark Croft, says they do distribute Fox Faith films in New Zealand – the first being Flicka, released January 18th – to very small audiences.
“There are quite a few films in the pipeline. However, they are being made principally for the US market. Not all the films will release theatrically in the New Zealand market although they may do so on DVD.”
[First published Challenge Weekly, 2007]
[Pictured: a scene from Facing the Giants]