Christian Retailing

‘Fireproof’ makers readying for next film Print Email
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 06 April 2009 08:50 AM America/New_York
‘Bigger budget, better quality’ movie planned, broadcasters are told

The makers of the surprise hit Fireproof (Provident-Integrity Distribution) are in “a season of prayer” regarding the follow-up to the top independent movie release of 2008, although they expect to have a budget five times larger than the pro-marriage drama.

altA keynote speaker during the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention, Fireproof Director Alex Kendrick said the yet-unnamed film would have an expected budget of $2.5 million.

“Our next movie will be a bigger budget, (and) God willing, better quality (film),” Kendrick, who co-produced Fireproof with his brother, Stephen, said during an NRB session. “We’re taking what we learned from the three previous movies and applying it to the next one. ... We think we know (the plot of the next movie), but we’re still in a season of prayer. And we’re not going to proceed until we know.”

Monique Sondag, a publicist for Fireproof, said the plot and details for the next Sherwood Pictures movie by the Kendricks will be revealed later this year.

Boosted by grass-roots support and bulk ticket purchases from churchgoers as well as some Christian retailers, Fireproof made $33.3 million at the box office, despite a modest $500,000 budget. The movie, which stars Kirk Cameron as a firefighter who turns to God to save his marriage, has been a top-selling DVD at Christian retail since it was released on video Jan. 27.

Additionally, The Love Dare (B&H Books/B&H Publishing Group), a focal point of Fireproof and written by the Kendrick brothers, has spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and has nearly 2.2 million copies in print.

Fireproof’’s predecessor Facing the Giants—also co-produced by the Kendricks—was created by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., with an all-volunteer cast and $100,000 budget. The film took in $10 million in theaters and remains a top-selling DVD. It has since been subtitled into 13 languages and dubbed into seven languages, and has sold well in Christian stores.

Sherwood Pictures’ first film, Flywheel, has sold more than 100,000 DVD copies.

Besides Kendrick, other Christian authors who spoke at NRB—held Feb. 7-10 in Nashville—included Anne Graham Lotz, Shaunti Feldhahn, John MacArthur, Kerry Shook and Charles Stanley.

The event drew several publishing houses, including Crossway Books & Bibles, Tyndale House Publishers, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. Tyndale House Corporate Publicist Mavis Sanders said the convention had “a lot of ministry value” and was “a great place” to promote new titles such as Tony Dungy’s Uncommon.

Organizers estimated total attendance was down about 5% from the 2008 convention, which drew about 6,000 people and 300 vendors. NRB Vice President of Communications David Keith told Christian Retailing that attendance was “slightly soft … but we’re very pleased in light of the economy.”