Fox Launches Second Demographically-targeted Specialty Division with FoxFaith

FoxFaith Logo
News Corp.'s Fox Filmed Entertainment today announced plans to target the Christian audience with the formal launch of the FoxFaith Home Enertainment Division.

FoxFaith will acquire up to twelve films a year, with a minimum of six theatrical releases a year under partnerships with AMC Theatres and Carmike Cinemas. The label will target evangelical Christians, a group whose beliefs have traditionally been at odds with secular Hollywood fare (including some of the racier content seen on Fox's broadcast network). The label has also partnered with the Dove Foundation, a non-profit that offers seals of approval to qualifying films free of offensive content.

Productions will be based on bestselling Christian fiction and will have production budgets under $5 million. Recent updates indicate they will be acquisitions, and not studio productions Additionally, the films will receive marketing support nearly equal to the production budgets, a significant figure for marketing low-budget films. This will complement Fox’s already hefty grassroots database of 90,000 congregations and 14 million evangelical households.

As we reported here over a year ago, FoxFaith has been making major inroads into the Christian marketplace in the DVD arena. Since the launch of the FoxFaith initiative last June, Fox has shipped over 30 million faith-based DVDs. As the DVD distributor for ‘Passion of the Christ,’ fox has sold an impressive 15 million units and established a considerable competitive advantage in marketing to the Christian community.

Another interesting element to this announcement: As opposed to the rest of Hollywood’s alignment of their theatrical and home video divisions along genre lines (Foreign, American Independent, Horror, etc.), Fox is throwing that paradigm out the window by aligning them along demographic lines, first with Fox Atomic, and now FoxFaith. It’s doesn't seem like much of a stretch to imagine a FoxAsian or FoxWomen specialty unit. After all, this model has been put to the test via specialty cable networks for several decades, but the web has given the model even more promise. With the lower cost of marketing to a known cohort, the centralization of these communities in online social networks, and the ease of building up reusable grassroots databases over time, Fox may have discovered a winning formula for combating the fracturing of the mass audience. The Weinsteins Company has placed a bet on this model as well with Our Stories Films, a specialty studio catering to the African-American audience.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.