Family Christian Stores is expanding their non-profit business into the entertainment industry this year, starting with the film "90 Minutes In Heaven."
Family Christian Entertainment, the new sister company of FCS, will produce two new films a year in order to generate more faith-based films while also increasing the quality of the entertainment. Rick Jackson, the entrepreneur behind FCS, said that the new entertainment company will specifically cater to Christian audiences and become a leading film studio similar to Walt Disney Pictures.
"We are not on a mission to teach Hollywood a lesson, I don't care about that," Jackson told The Christian Post. "What I am interested in doing is speaking to this audience in professional way and create a platform; we'd almost like to be the Disney of this space."
Jackson went on to shed light on both the lack of Christian films available today and the amount of support evangelical Christians have had for faith-based entertainment in years past.
"One of the problems I saw with Family Christian Stores when I first got into it was that it did not have any original content," the producer explained. "Our performance and profitability was based on if 'The Blindside' or 'God's Not Dead' or other films that came out. So our focus was, where is our opportunity? The idea is to have our own content ... we want to make more money to give away more money."
Relying on Christian audiences to fill theaters and buy DVDs, Jackson said profits from FCE films including "90 Minutes in Heaven" will be donated in entirety to charity. To ensure the faith-based audiences are satisfied with the FCE's first film, the producer shaped the entire film around believers.
"Movies try to be all things to all people and so one of the things we want to so it be authentic," he said. "This movie is designed to say, "How would an evangelical look at this?' If we hit that target, we believe it will spread out because they're evangelical and use word of mouth. It will be Christians going to church, Christians who are growing in their faith, but it will also appeal to a broader market. [However,] if nobody shows up but Christians, then that's fine with us."
"90 Minutes In Heaven" is based on Pastor Don Piper's 2004 best-selling book which chronicles his near-death experience. Production begins on Jan. 26 with Michael Polish directing. The "Big Sur" director's wife, Kate Bosworth, will star opposite of Hayden Christensen.
"It's more than just a movie," Jackson said of the film. It's real modern day biblical story, and I think it's a story that Christians are gonna attach to and really like."