There are currently 2.2 Billion Christians and 2.5 Billion Bibles in circulation. Each year 100+ million Bibles are printed and the YouVersion Digital Bible is downloaded 100 million times continuing the 50+ year trend as the world’s “most read book”.
66,000+ people are using a Bible app right now and 30 people shared a Bible verse on social media in the last 10 seconds. 77% of people say that they read the Bible more frequently because they have it available on a mobile device. 60% of people use a digital Bible at church and 75% of Christians prefer digital Bibles to hard-copy versions.
Yet there is only one word-for-word movie Bible: www.biblemovie.com.au and (to date) the Bible has not been faithfully translated into word-for-word movies by any single distributor. ‘Word-for-word’ Bible films are a super niche product with a massive potential audience. The Bible is consistently the Guinness book of world records best-seller. So much so that for years it has been removed from the commercial best-seller lists! The book of Job is one of the world’s oldest books. Job is appreciated by (and provides a distribution opportunity for) Christian, Jewish and Christian faiths.
‘Word-for-word’ Bible movies are an emerging genre that began with the Jesus movie, the Gospel of John and more recently the Lumo projects depiction of the gospels. The breakout success of The Chosen shows that there is a large and sustainable market for Biblically based films. The challenge is that video is a powerful tool. The depiction of God in a movie could be the only depiction of God that the viewer ever experiences and ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. The purpose of this advisory board is to ensure that great care has been taken to make sure that the pictures tell the right words.
The ‘word-for-word’ Bible Movie Translation is a ‘super- niche’ with arguably the largest potential viewing audience in the world.
The “Jesus Project” by Campus Crusade for Christ. This project had initially planned to create a film of all 66 books of the bible, however the film of the book of John was so successful it exceeded all expectations and has now been translated into over 200 languages and is the “most watched film in history”. This film is an example of the incredible thirst for bible based films and completely transcends every film distribution model and crosses every economic boundary in its delivery format.
More recently “The Bible”, filmed on a “shoestring” of $22,000,000 has broken all box-office records for the History Channel with a staggering 100+ million viewers tuning in. This made it the biggest box office success in TV history. The list could go on….the audio book: “The Bible Experience” , (a recent “contemporary version” of the bible with professional actors and stunning background score) quickly became the fastest selling audio book in history. The Bible (as a subject) has a BIG audience!
In 2006, nearly 50 Judeo-Christian-faith films were produced. The films grossed an average $39 million. All five of the major Hollywood studios have created marketing departments to target the growing demand for faith-based and family fare. Movieguide publisher Ted Baehr said:
"There is competition for the Christian audience now that there hasn't been before. I thought at some point it would level off, but so far it's getting bigger and bigger. It's more than I could have possibly imagined. One of the audiences that has become stable and even grown for books, music and movies is the Christian audience."
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (2004) = Box office: $611 million worldwide A radical departure from the “traditional” picture of Jesus on the cross. This film depicts Jesus in all pain and agony with a realistic look at the incredible beating he received. Job has exactly the same “shock value” as this bible based film. “The Passion” is based on the Bible with an uncompromising view of Christ. It galvanized churches across the country and had a large grass roots movement on release.
AMAZING GRACE (2007) = Box office: $31 million The Hymn that is a ‘household name’ struck a chord with Christians with the theme of redemption and the relevance of the social justice focus of religious leader William Wilberforce
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING (2006) = Box office: $13.5 million Based on the Book of Esther this was marketed directly to the churches creating a grass roots movement
A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES Mark and Roma Waterman 80-90 million viewers The show premiered on NBC to 9.7 million viewers. It averaged 6.5 million viewers across 12 episodes on NBC.
THE STAR (animated) = Budget$20 million Box office$62.8 million The Heart of a Man,
FIREPROOF Budget $500,000 Box office $33.5 million
AMAZING GRACE Budget US $29,000,000 Box office US $32,120,360 900 church group bookings. (Post covid it is hard to quantify this type of support).
LUMO PROJECT GOSPEL OF JOHN The film was initially released on Netflix and then on DVD., it can also be streamed online from Amazon