Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fox Filmed Entertainment makes a pull for the Christian market

This is a direct copy of The World... IMHO's post on this issue.

FoxFaith Plans Christian Movies

News Corp.’s Fox Filmed Entertainment is unveiling plans to go after the Christian audience that made "The Passion of the Christ” a blockbuster hit.

In what the Los Angeles Times calls the biggest commitment of its sort by a Hollywood studio, Rupert Murdoch’s company plans to produce up to a dozen movies a year under the banner FoxFaith. At least six of the films will be released in theaters in a pact with two large chains, AMC Theaters and Carmike Cinemas.

FoxFaith will reportedly target evangelical Christians who have often shunned popular entertainment.

"A segment of the market is starving for this type of content,” Simon Swart, general manager of Fox’s U.S. home entertainment unit, told the Times.

FoxFaith films will be based on Christian best-sellers and have small budgets of less than $5 million, compared with the $60 million average for mainstream movies.

Fox executives were spurred to launch FoxFaith by the surprising success of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion,” which grossed $612 million worldwide.

Fox obtained the domestic home video rights to the movie, and has sold more than 15 million units on DVD.

Another spiritual film, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” grossed $745 million worldwide.

The Times reports: "Fox might seen an unlikely studio to pioneer a religious label, given its history as a purveyor of salacious TV programming. Yet people in the Christian community say the company has gained credibility as the voice for conservative America through its Fox News Channel.”

Lonelyman's comments:
I don't think their budget per movie, a mere $5 million, is the best idea. They need to make it $10-30 million to have an impact on the market. But it is a step in the right direction. A great step.

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