Global content leader Lionsgate is expanding its footprint in the faith-based world by signing a multi-platform film and television deal with the Erwin brothers and producing partner Kevin Downes, the creators behind the box office hit “I Can Only Imagine.”
“I Can Only Imagine,” which was released by Lionsgate and sister company Roadside Attractions, brought in $17.1 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend this year, and over $83 million in total, superseding expectations. Other breakout successes from the company in the faith-based genre include two-time Oscar-winning film “Hacksaw Ridge” and “The Shack.”
The mainstream movie company is now looking to recreate that success. Motion Picture Group Chairman Joe Drake and Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs officially announced this week their new multi-year agreement with Andrew and Jon Erwin and Downes.
Under the agreement, the Erwins and Downes will develop, produce and direct feature films and television programming for Lionsgate under their newly-created Kingdom banner.
“We’re proud to expand our relationship with Andrew, Jon and Kevin through this exciting and collaborative, cross-divisional partnership,” said Drake and Beggs in a statement shared with The Christian Post. “This deal underscores our ongoing commitment to serve moviegoers with premium, faith-based content. We look forward to working with the Erwin Brothers and Kevin on film and television projects that resonate not only with the faith-based community but with viewers everywhere.”
The Erwin Brothers received the rare A+ CinemaScore twice in their filmmaking career. Additional films under the trio’s belt include “Woodlawn,” “Moms’ Night Out” and “October Baby.” Downes, a 20-year industry veteran, and the brothers have successfully collaborated on three films in the last five years that have all opened in the top 10 movies in America.
“Our dream for launching Kingdom is to create the most trusted and respected brand in faith-based entertainment. We needed a partner that would catch that dream with us and Lionsgate is the perfect fit,” Jon Erwin said. “They aren’t like any other studio we’ve ever worked with and they have a passion to empower creative entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to work together on some exciting new projects.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law