Hollywood's Christian film market continues to expand thanks to a growing consumer appetite for faith-based films. One Hollywood publicist believes that ultimately, Christian films have the potential to extend beyond providing superficial entertainment on the big screen to having a significant social and cultural impact in the modern world.
"I think the Christian market of the film and television industry is very important," said Casimir Spencer, a Digital Publicist for Los Angeles-based Christian public relations firm, Grace Hill Media.
Spencer, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade, said working on blockbuster films such as Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" and "Noah" validated her theory that Christian films are more than just entertainment because ultimately they have an ability to "replenish the human spirit" while appealing to broad audiences.
"There are so many stories to tell regarding the Christian experience and the many different sub-cultures that exist within it," said Spencer. "I also think those who are not Christians can benefit from these stories as well. As humans, I think we are all inspired by stories of faith, hope, love and perseverance. These are qualities that help replenish the human spirit regardless of its attachment or non-attachment to organized religion".
In addition to potentially impacting consumers on a deeper level, the Christian film market also appears to be profitable. Last year, faith-based films including "Noah" and Ridley Scott's "Exodus" were among the overall highest-grossing films at the box office.
Darren Aronofsky's biblical-inspired blockbuster, which featured big names such as Russell Crowe and Emma Watson, pulled in more than $362 million worldwide. The film's success was reminiscent to the early success of Mel Gibson's 2004 hit "The Passion of the Christ" which, to date, has brought in more than $611 million.
"Exodus," which hit theaters late last year, brought in $259 million and Randall Wallace's "Heaven is for Real" made $101 million.
Hollywood film producer Mark Joseph, who has worked on both mainstream and faith-based films, attributed the recent surge in Christian films to a lack of originality in mainstream films.
"Because Christians didn't tell their stories in film for 75 years, there are lots of great stories that never got told," Joseph previously told Fox411. "On the mainstream side on the other hand you're seeing lots of sequels and remakes – the story supply is running dry."