Angel Studios, the streaming platform for Dallas Jenkins’ The Chosen, a series about the life of Jesus, has raised $47 million to “bring control of the entertainment industry back to consumers and creators.”
The studio made the announcement in a press release, stating:
The financing was led by Gigafund, a venture capital firm backing the world’s most ambitious and transformative entrepreneurs, and Bain-backed Uncorrelated Ventures, which invests in infrastructure software. Gigafund is known for being one of the largest investors in SpaceX, as well as other game-changing companies in industries ranging from education and energy to healthcare and housing.
Space X is the aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications corporation founded by Elon Musk. Five million dollars of the funding was crowdsourced from fans of Angel Studios, while “original seed investors Alta Ventures and Kickstart Fund also participated,” the release stated.
Angel Studios said:
Today’s movie business is a $280-billion industry almost totally controlled by five major Hollywood studios. Studio executives decide what content to produce in boardrooms behind closed doors, with little to no input from consumers. As a result, almost 80% of the films that Hollywood thinks audiences want to see fail to break even every year, while real audiences rarely get the chance to enjoy the stories that matter most to them. Studios rely on a few major hits to maintain the status quo.
Neal Harmon, one of four Mormon brothers who founded the company, explained in a YouTube video why Hollywood continues to lose money. R-rated films make up almost 51% of movies made, but their average revenue is only $12.9 million. Movies rated G, PG and PG-13, on the other hand, average $37.6, $41.7 and $41.9 million, respectively.
Harmon said that Hollywood has moved far away from the values, beliefs and mores of the average American home, producing a glut of R-rated movies that don’t earn money.
Angel Studios, based in Provo, Utah, started as VidAngel, a company to stream movies while filtering content that included profanity, nudity, sexual situations and graphic violence. Disney, Warner Brothers, LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox sued the company for breaking copyright laws. The company went bankrupt and reorganized, after settling with those studios for $9.9 million.
Angel Studios shifted focus at that point, to produce original, crowdfunded programs, along with only streaming and filtering movies from other sources like Amazon and Netflix.
The studio said:
The Angel model has already produced three of the most successful crowdfunded shows of all time, including:
- The Chosen, the #1 crowdfunded media project in history, viewed over 300 million times to date, with a special in theaters this Christmas.
- Dry Bar Comedy, the #1 family-friendly stand-up comedy channel, currently on its eighth season with one billion views a year.
- The Wingfeather Saga, the world’s #1 crowdfunded animated kids show, currently in production.
For those who haven’t read it yet, The Wingfeather Saga includes four terrific, funny, adventurous books for readers 10 and up. Written by Christian singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson, the four books in the series are On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North! Or Be Eaten, The Monster in the Hollows and The Warden and the Wolf King.
Angel Studios also offers the series Tuttle Twins, based on books that teach children about free markets, individual rights, personal responsibility and other principles of a free society. And, it is crowdfunding an animated film David, about the shepherd boy who became Israel’s king.
Harmon believes that audiences choose the best stories – not Hollywood executives. He said, “This raise gives us more than funding; it gives us key strategic partners,” adding that the infusion of cash “will help us realize our long-term mission of remaking the entertainment industry and freeing both creators and their fans to enjoy the content that they find most important.”
Focus on the Family teamed up with Christian novelist Jerry Jenkins to create The Chosen: I Have Called You By Name, a book based on the first season of the series.
Focus on the Family Bookstore: The Chosen
Photo from Facebook.