Sony’s Pure Flix Acquisition Could Raise the Bar for Christian Movies

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As a major Hollywood studio invests in on-demand inspirational content, the question becomes how they’ll approach the sprawling offerings targeting the Christian market.

In a shakeup of the niche faith-based streaming market, Sony Pictures plans to acquire streaming service Pure Flix and its hundreds of thousands of subscribers committed to “clean entertainment” and “feel-good movies.”

Pure Flix, one of a half-dozen streaming platforms targeting Christian viewers, will be fully owned by Sony subsidiary Affirm Entertainment pending regulatory approval, the company announced last week.

Affirm already has a strong track record of what executives call “uplifting, inspirational content,” with popular titles aimed at Christian audiences: Miracles from Heaven starring Jennifer Garner, War Room from filmmaker brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, and The Star, an animated re-telling of the Nativity co-produced by DeVon Franklin and The Jim Henson Company.

Keith Le Goy, president of networks and distribution at Sony, said the acquisition allows Affirm to create and share more stories that are “both impactful and entertaining.”

Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott and chief content officer David A. R. White—who has starred in many Pure Flix releases himself—said they plan to stay on board, joining Affirm Entertainment after the deal is done to manage the service and help develop future programming. However, the independent studio Pure Flix Entertainment will remain a separate entity and retain its library of films—notably its God’s Not Dead trilogy, which collectively earned $96 million at the box office.

This move by a major studio reveals the value Hollywood places on reaching Christian consumers, particularly as most entertainment has been moving to in home and on demand.

“The shift to streaming has been a long time coming, with the pandemic …

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