Christian Parody 'Believe Me' Gets Distribution and Limited Release
Indie film Believe Me, a Christian parody starring rapper LeCrae, Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman and Alex Russell of Chronicle, will get a limited release in 16 markets nationwide on Sept. 26.
Believe Me is hoping to be the next surprise hit targeting Christian moviegoers, though the more successful ones this year have been dramas whereas Believe Me is a comedy.
On Wednesday, in fact, Faith Driven Consumer, the group famous for its vigorous defense of Phil Robertson after the Duck Dynasty star disparaged homosexuality, released a study comparing this year's crop of Christian films to Mel Gibson's 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ.
The study measured domestic box office against production budget to determine return on investment and, rather surprisingly, God's Not Dead came out on top with $21.76 earned per $1 spent. Passion was second with $9.20, followed by Heaven Is for Real ($5.69) and Son of God ($2.58). The most expensive film in the study, Paramount's Noah, brought up the rear with 76 cents earned for every $1 spent on production, though the film would have faired better if foreign box office were included.
Not in the study, though, is Moms' Night Out, which is still in a few theaters and is probably the better comparison to Believe Me, since they are both comedies. Moms' Night Out, which stars Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins, Sarah Drew and Sean Astin, was made for $5 million and has earned $10 million domestically since opening May 9.
Believe Me is distributed by Headline Features and Gravitas Ventures. It could get a wider release depending on the response, though it is getting a VOD release the same day, so it will be available on Dish Network, DirecTV, iTunes, Amazon.com and elsewhere as well as in theaters beginning Sep. 26.
Believe Me is from director Will Bakke and his Riot Studios, best known for the documentary Beware of Christians. In the movie, Russell plays a charismatic college student who organizes a sophisticated scam to cheat Bible thumpers out of their money.