Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that it has intentions of purchasing a Christian streaming service to reach out to more Christian audiences, reports reveal.
Sony Pictures has agreed to purchase Pure Flix, a streaming service that was launched in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The acquisition means that the Pure Flix service will be wholly owned by Affirm Entertainment, the sister company of Sony subsidiary Affirm Films. Pure Flix Entertainment, the Arizona-based studio that launched the service, however, is not part of the purchase.
Affirm Films is known for producing, marketing and distributing blockbuster Christian films such as "War Room," "Heaven is for Real," "Miracles from Heaven," and last year's "Overcomer."
The 2016 movie "Miracles From Heaven," which starred Jennifer Garner, generated nearly $74 million in global box office ticket sales. This is a huge contrast when compared with a mere budget of $13 million. "Overcomer," created by known Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, on the other hand, was produced with a $5 million budget but it generated $38 million in sales.
Pure Flix, on the other hand, is known for producing the "God's Not Dead" franchise. It is more explicit in its religious views as compared to Affirm Films.
The company released the first installment of the "God's Not Dead" films in 2014. The first movie, which showed the life of a Christian college student who stood up for his faith and debated with an atheist professor (portrayed by Christian actor Kevin Sorbo) about God, grossed $65 million at the global box office despite less than stellar reviews.
Pure Flix also went on to release two sequels to "God's Not Dead," both of which starred the company's co-founder and Chief Content Officer David A.R. White. It also produced other films such as "The Case for Christ," which is based on the book by Lee Strobel, and last year's "Unplanned," film based on the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became an anti-abortion activist.
Sony's president of networks and distribution, Keith Le Goy, noted that Pure Flix is a "natural fit" with its Affirm brand, as both companies are known for creating uplifting and inspirational content.
"Pure Flix has done an amazing job building a robust community of engaged subscribers, and we look forward to continuing to grow and delight audiences with well-curated faith and family entertainment," Le Goy said.
In a statement, Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott also expressed his enthusiasm in the deal, saying the company is looking forward to the "creative opportunities" the acquisition will bring, as well as the ability to reach more audiences via the said agreement. He also expressed his gratitude for all the fans who've supported the streaming service and the company behind it.
"We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our longtime Pure Flix supporters as we continue to bring them inspirational and high-quality content in the years ahead," he said.
Scott will be joining Affirm to continue overseeing the streaming service. White will also join Affirm to head the service's outreach and special projects.