Pure Flix (stylized as PURE FLIX) is an evangelical Christian film production and distribution studio founded by David A. R. White and Russell Wolfe, inspired by Netflix. Pure Flix produces Christian films, including God's Not Dead (2014), Do You Believe? (2015), Woodlawn (2015), The Case for Christ (2017), and Unplanned (2019). Since 2014, films produced and distributed by Pure Flix have collectively grossed over $195 million at the worldwide box office. The company has headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.
|Founded||November 21, 2005|
|Founders||David A. R. White|
|David A. R. White|
Michael Scott (CEO)
|Revenue||$27.4 million (2018 box office receipts)|
Since its foundation, the company has created many films, such as The Wager, Home Beyond the Sun, In the Blink of an Eye, Sarah's Choice, A Greater Yes: The Story of Amy Newhouse, The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith, Holyman Undercover, and Samson.
The company produced Jerusalem Countdown in 2011, with 10 West Studios. They also produced the first two seasons of TBN's Travel the Road. God's Not Dead (2014) starring Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper and Dean Cain earned over $60 million in the U.S. box office and was released in digital format by Lionsgate on August 5, 2014.
Since late 2015, Pure Flix had its own theatrical distribution arm. In late 2016, Pure Flix announced a homeschooling curriculum for families with home-schooled children and decided to allow their users to delete words such as "hell" and "damn" from their programming. The company has teamed up with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference to supply further opportunities for Hispanic actors to improve the media representation of the Hispanic community.
In 2016, Pure Flix announced that it has struck a long-term multi-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, which would officially manage the home media releases of every Pure Flix-produced film, starting with Woodlawn.
On November 12, 2020, Pure Flix announced that its eponymous streaming video service was being acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment, but that its production arm "Pure Flix Entertainment" is not part of the deal. Once the deal is complete, Sony will integrate Pure Flix streaming into its Affirm Films banner.
God's Not Dead seriesEdit
Their film God's Not Dead was 2014's highest grossing independent film and one of the most successful independent faith-based films of all time despite negative criticism. In 2016, God's Not Dead 2 grossed over $1.4 million in Brazil and was considered by Vox to be "moderately commercially successful". A third God's Not Dead film, titled God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, was announced, and released on March 30, 2018. The Christian band Newsboys appear in and provide music for the first two films in the series. Legalities related to the Johnson Amendment were referenced in the second film.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2014||God's Not Dead||Inspirational Film of the Year - GMA Dove Awards||Won|
Productions and distributionsEdit
- Travel the Road (television series, 2003–present)
- Home Beyond the Sun (February 20, 2004)
- Hugglers: Holiday Special (March 20, 2007)
- Hugglers: Adventure #1 A Friend in Need (March 27, 2007)
- Hugglers: Adventure #2 Jesus Loves His Children (March 27, 2007)
- Hidden Secrets (March 20, 2007)
- The Wager (June 15, 2007)
- Christmas Memories (December 31, 2007)
- The Imposter (October 12, 2008)
- Matchmaker Mary (April 24, 2009)
- A Greater Yes: The Story of Amy Newhouse (May 28, 2009)
- Sarah's Choice (November 1, 2009)
- In the Blink of an Eye (November 17, 2009)
- The Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (December 15, 2009)
- Holyman Undercover (April 10, 2010)
- What If... (August 20, 2010)
- The Bill Collector (September 3, 2010)
- The Encounter (May 3, 2011)
- Jerusalem Countdown (August 26, 2011)
- Ghost Soldiers (26 April 2012)
- Apostle Peter and the Last Supper (February 21, 2012)
- The Mark (October 16, 2012)
- The Mark 2: Redemption (May 7, 2013)
- The Book of Esther (June 11, 2013)
- The Book of Daniel (October 1, 2013)
- God's Not Dead (March 21, 2014)
- Moms' Night Out (May 9, 2014)
- Do You Believe? (March 20, 2015)
- Old Fashioned (February 6, 2015)
- Faith of Our Fathers (July 1, 2015)
- Woodlawn (October 16, 2015)
- God's Not Dead 2 (April 1, 2016)
- Hillsong: Let Hope Rise (September 16, 2016)
- I'm Not Ashamed (October 21, 2016)
- The Case for Christ (April 7, 2017)
- Same Kind of Different as Me (October 20, 2017)
- Samson (February 16, 2018)
- God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness (March 30, 2018)
- Unbroken: Path to Redemption (September 14, 2018)
- Shake Off the World (September 15, 2018)
- Little Women (September 28, 2018)
- Indivisible (October 26, 2018)
- Unplanned (March 29, 2019)
Pure Flix Entertainment also has an Internet video on demand service simply named Pure Flix. The company was founded by David A. R. White, replacing the streaming platform "I Am Flix". It specializes in Christian streaming media and video-on-demand online.
Pure Flix owns a subsidiary known as Quality Flix. Quality Flix works with international films, in contrast to Pure Flix, which is primarily focused on distribution of films within the United States.
In 2019, Pure Flix's anti-abortion film Unplanned attracted controversy in both mainstream and evangelical media. Some Christian commentators perceived the film as being unfairly censored after it received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America and following a brief and subsequently rescinded suspension of the film's Twitter account. Michael Gryboski, writing for Christian Post, criticized major Canadian film distributors (such as Cineplex) refusal to screen the film in the country, calling it a "de facto ban." Film critic Normal Wilner countered that statement by accusing the distributors of employing disingenuous tactics to "manufacture a controversy," pointing out that the film was eventually shown in about 25 Cineplex and Landmark theaters in Canada and claiming nothing had prevented an earlier release. In turn, he accused Pure Flix of deliberately choosing not to screen Unplanned for critics to avoid negative reviews. After its release some criticized Unplanned for perceived inaccuracies.
Despite Pure Flix films generally being well-received by its evangelical Christian viewership, the company has also attracted criticism from several Christian commentators. Film critic Alissa Wilkinson, who wrote for Christianity Today and teaches at the Christian King's College in New York City, criticized Pure Flix films for being intellectually unstimulating and reinforcing their audience's prejudices "instead of exercising and challenging the imagination of their audience in ways that would make their audience better Christians." She also criticized the studio's successful God's Not Dead trilogy for being "far more interested in bolstering a certain sort of persecution complex than in encouraging its audience toward Christlike behavior." Justin Chang, another film critic who identifies as Christian, likewise criticized Pure Flix's brand of faith-based films for what he perceived as their "self-victimizing" depiction of the evangelical Christian community. Kayla Bartsch, writing for National Review, argued that Pure Flix's films "work to confirm the hypothesis that American Christianity must needs be artless and unrefined," making a case for more nuanced and stimulating religious films.
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The indie film about a college student who debates his atheist professor about the existence of God has grossed about $35 million in ticket sales so far, making it one of the biggest surprises of the year, with little sign of stopping as it enters its fourth weekend in theaters.
- Sandler, Jennifer (10 July 2014). "Lionsgate Acquires Domestic Digital, VOD and Television Distribution Rights to Faith-Based Box Office Hit 'God's Not Dead'". The Wall Street Journal.
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- Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. "Pure Flix Entertainment & Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Enter Into Long Term, Multi-year Distribution Agreement". CISION® PR Newswire. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- Faughnder, Ryan (2020-11-12). "Seeking Christian viewers, Sony acquires 'God's Not Dead' producers' streaming service". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
In a move to expand its reach with Christian audiences, Sony Pictures is buying a streaming service launched by the makers of the “God’s Not Dead” film franchise. The Culver City-based studio on Thursday said it has agreed to purchase the faith-based subscription video service Pure Flix, which charges viewers $13 a month (or $84 a year) to stream evangelical-friendly movies and TV shows. ... Pure Flix Entertainment, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based production company that launched the streamer in 2015, is not part of the acquisition.
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“Do You Believe?” focuses on a dozen different lives that intersect on the streets of Chicago, starting with a local pastor (Ted McGinley) being moved by the visible faith of an old street-corner preacher, played by Delroy Lindo.
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- Rosman, Katherine (2017-04-08). "Forget Netflix and Chill. Try Pure Flix and Pray". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
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- Lamm, Olivia (2019-04-09). "Unplanned: How it has been censored and why it is significant". Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
- "'Unplanned' makes twice the expected box office sales despite social media censorship". www.christianpost.com. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
- "'Unplanned' finally coming to Canada after de facto ban of pro-life film". www.christianpost.com. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
- Wilner, Norman (2019-07-09). "The manufactured controversy over anti-abortion movie Unplanned". NOW Magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
- Jeltsen, Melissa (17 April 2019). "The Anti-Abortion Movie 'Unplanned' Is Loaded With Dangerous Lies". Huffington Post.
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- "A Christian critic wrestles with new biblical films and the hope of a better 'faith-based' cinema". Los Angeles Times. 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
- "The Catholic Film Alliance and a Rebirth of Religious Patronage of the Arts". National Review. 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2020-03-04.