Many critics believe that producing movies featuring faith and redemptive values is a nice idea but not a money-making proposition.
Wow, is that ever wrong.
Think billions of dollars, as Movieguide Publisher Ted Baehr reveals in a new study.
“For the last 20 years – and more – we’ve been showing Hollywood that movies with Christian faith and values not only inspire the human heart but also make good business sense,” he said. “Hollywood is listening, and God is clearly blessing our efforts and our strategy.”
His “Movieguide: The Family Guide to Movies & Entertainment” studied 128 movies with strong Christian, redemptive content in 1996, 2012 and 2015.
The study found the number of movies with such content has increased 194 percent since 1996 and 38.30 percent in the three years since 2012, from only 16 such movies in 1996 to 47 in 2012 and 65 in 2015.
“The studies also showed that the box office totals for such movies in the United States and Canada have increased from only $208.63 million in 1996 to $3.69 billion in 2012 and nearly $5.35 billion in 2015, an increase of 2,463 percent and 44.78 percent, respectively,” the report said.
“Movieguide’s study didn’t just measure faith-based movies like ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ from 1996 and last year’s ‘War Room,'” Baehr said. “We also studied major Hollywood movies with strong or even overt Christian content and values such as Disney’s 1996 animated classic ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and Universal’s blockbuster ‘Furious 7,’ both of which had overt, positive Christian content and values.”
The results coincide with the announcement of a new database of films available to consumers.
ChristianCinema.com – the largest database of faith films to download for rent or purchase – is doing away with those evenings when people scroll through 100 or more channels and find nothing of interest.
ChristianCinema.com now is featuring “WND Films Week.” It includes “The Harbinger Man,” “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” and “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the biggest-selling faith film of 2013.
“At WND Films, we recommend ChristianCinema.com as a preferred partner for purchasing our products, whether your preference is DVD or digital download,” said Joseph Farah, founder and chief executive officer of WND.com, WND Books and WND Films. “Two reasons: ChristianCinema.com is a pioneer in the field as the only transactional video-on-demand platform for the Christian market, and because they make it easier to find what you’re looking for in the format of your choice.”
The Movieguide chief, Baehr, is author of “The Culture-Wise Family” and “How To Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul).”
He’s also chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission (CFTVC) and its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide.
In their 31st year, CFTVC and Movieguide are the largest, longest-running international, non-profit ministries dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”
ChristianCinema.com began with one man’s dream to provide wholesome, Christian entertainment to families. Back in 1999, Bobby Downes, founder and chief executive officer, began selling VHS movies online to fill the noticeable void of Christian films in local video stores. The company quickly took off, adding tons of movies and transitioning to different formats as technology moved forward. From VHS to DVD and now streaming, ChristianCinema.com always stayed one step ahead.
In 2013, ChristianCinema.com launched the very first digital HD movie platform exclusively for Christian film audiences to rent or buy movies online through their laptops, tablets, smartphones and connected TV devices, bringing faith movies into homes digitally with the simple click of a button. For the first time, families could watch Christian films anytime, anywhere, paying only for the movies they wanted to watch with no subscriptions. ChristianCinema.com now offers more than half of their 4,000 DVD titles in streaming format, providing over 1,500 hours available to watch online.
“Easy access is the key,” said Jared Geesey, vice president of ChristianCinema.com. “Viewers can watch on virtually any device: desktops, laptops, television, smartphones and tablets.”
Movies are available on ChristianCinema.com’s Roku Channel and directly streamed via Google Chromecast, iOS and Android. Support for Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, iOS app, Amazon Firestick and Android app are now in development and will be available summer 2016.
“We are looking into the viability of XBox and Playstation apps next,” said Geesey.
All of the devices and platforms integrate seamlessly through a digital account, allowing families to switch between and watch movies on multiple devices.
Most importantly, ChristianCinema.com knows what their viewers want. With a 17-year history of serving Christians with informative and faith-encouraging content through their website, weekly entertainment newsletter and an expanding social media following, ChristianCinema.com offers movies that can’t be found through other outlets.
Downes noted, “ChristianCinema.com has been vetting content since 1999 and has earned the trust of millions of people to provide movies that reflect their faith and values.”
The company screens each film for content to ensure that movies on the site present a biblical worldview. ChristianCinema.com is planning to add additional exclusive and original content, providing an alternative to the usual Hollywood fare.
According to the Barna Research Group report in Culture & Media, movies continue to be a major part of Americans’ lives. Between the theater (3.3 movies per year), cable or television (about 19 movies per year) and DVD/Blue-Ray or streaming (approximately 23 movies per year), the typical American watches an average of more than 45 movies per year. Whether they sense the influence of film or not, movies continue to power the cultural and moral imagination of adults simply by virtue of the hundreds of hours they spend on them.
Here are just a few of the titles available:
“The Global Jesus Revolution”
“End Times Eyewitness”
“The Harbinger Man”
“Trapped in Hitler’s Hell”
“The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment”
Other WND titles in the ChristianCinema Digital ‘Featured’ Section:
“The Rabbi Who Found Messiah”
“The Last Pope?”
“Disinformation” (will appear on ChristianCinema page soon)