The newest theatrical release from FoxFaith hit theaters nationwide Friday as part of an ongoing effort to reach audiences seeking family friendly films.
"The Ultimate Gift," starring six-time Emmy nominee Brian Dennehy and Academy Award nominee James Garner, adds onto the string of uplifting, moral-driven movies that have been marketed by the family-friendly movie outlet of Twentieth Century Fox. Although not overtly Christian, "The Ultimate Gift" includes honorable themes such as hard work, the importance of family, the value of money, and most importantly, love.
The story follows the life of trust fund baby Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller, Charmed) after the death of his wealthy grandfather (James Garner, The Notebook). Expecting to receive a large inheritance, instead, he is led along a series of twelve "gifts" that his grandfather, Red Stevens, had planned out. Only after he fulfills each of the "gifts," will Jason receive the "ultimate gift."
While attempting to fulfill these goals, the main character comes to realize the impact money has had in his life and understands what is truly important. This includes a meeting with a small girl Emily (Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine) and her mother Alexia (Ali Hillis, Open Waters 2: Adrift) that changes the perspective of this young man forever.
This film is the third release from FoxFaith this year, the first two being Thr3e, a suspense murder thriller, and The Last Sin Eater, which explores true forgiveness.
Last year, the home video division of Twentieth Century Fox said it would acquire as many as a dozen family friendly movies a year and market them under the FoxFaith banner. With budgets of less than $5 million each, the films would be aimed at the same Christian audiences that helped boost box office receipts for such films as "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."
"We saw the opportunity to fill the needs of an underserved marketplace," said Steve Feldstein, senior vice president of marketing at Fox Home Video, according to a report by the Associated Press last year.
"All of this programming is entertainment first. We're not in the business of proselytizing or preaching," he said.
According to AP, about half of the films will be distributed theatrically through a third-party company under a deal with two large theater chains, AMC Theatres and Carmike Cinemas. The rest will go directly to DVD.
The Ultimate Gift, which is being shown in theaters in more than 128 U.S. and Canadian cities in more than 500 theatres is based off the best-selling book by author Jim Stovall, which sold over 3 million copies. The movie is being distributed by The Bigger Picture, which has cooperated with FoxFaith for the other theatrical releases.
On the web: specific theater locations at FoxFaithMovies.com.