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Wanderlust Productions, the independent film studio behind the hit God Adventure trilogy Finger of God, Furious Love and Father of Lights, is transforming Hollywood's long-established business model with its No. 1 Kickstarter-funded faith film for millennials, Holy Ghost.
Last week the company debuted its new film in a highly anticipated live event called the Holy Ghost World Premiere Experience. The one-time digital event, which featured a special musical appearance with Brian "Head" Welch of Korn, made it possible for anyone in the world to watch the event free of charge for 48 hours.
Exclusive new data reveals that the Holy Ghost premiere yielded a stunning return, with more than 1 million estimated viewers. This larger-than-expected audience—41 percent of which were outside the U.S. and nearly 50 percent of which viewed Holy Ghost on mobile devices—are now invited to buy the film.
"Based on the overwhelming support we received on Kickstarter, the response to Wanderlust's first three films and the surge in social media from our fans, we have always fundamentally believed that Holy Ghost will be a major commercial success," said Braden Heckman, CEO of Wanderlust. "We will be profitable with the very first DVD or VOD sold today, and every sale afterward both increases the margin and serves as a proof point for the viability of this new model.
"Rather than raising production and promotional money from large investors, and then essentially betting that a project will do well enough to make that money back, Holy Ghost's new crowd-funded model provides a filmmaker with reasonable certainty from the outset of the project. 2,500 people donated because they wanted to see this film made," Heckman continued.
"The consumer-driven model, made possible by new technology, gives people more power to choose and causes them to be deeply invested in a project's success. Today, Holy Ghost is new breaking ground, and tomorrow this model could be the new normal for the entertainment industry."
Wanderlust's distribution strategy is predicated on converting the audience from Holy Ghost's free premiere into paying customers. That phase began Tuesday with the DVD and VOD release, available on Amazon and at the Wanderlust website, with iTunes soon to come. That, coupled with Holy Ghost's three-week World Premiere Tour, where the film is making special stops at churches around the country through Oct. 12, will indicate the film's level of commercial success.
Key Holy Ghost metrics:
- There were more than 1 million estimated viewers of Holy Ghost's World Premiere Experience.
- More than 740 churches are participating in the Holy Ghost World Premiere Experience and/or Holy Ghost World Premiere Tour.
- Nearly 75 movie theaters have joined by popular demand from the website Tugg.
- Nearly 50 percent of views during the World Premiere Experience were on mobile devices.
- 41 percent of views during the World Premiere Experience were outside the USA.
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