Why Do Movies Charge Churches a License Fee?

In the past 10 years there has been an increase in the amount of faith films in the marketplace. Some have called this a movement. In 2010, the year COURAGEOUS hit theaters there were 5 Faith Driven films released (Grace Card, Soul Surfer, October Baby, and Seven Days In Utopia). Some might consider this to be a year that really started things for faith films. In 2018, 16 movies hit theaters and the trend continues.

With these movies coming it means a great investment is taking place in creating the content and bringing it to the market place. The investment is coming from past success, major studios, Christians who see this as ministry to reach the lost and disciple believers, and those simply seeing it as a good business investment. 

Wherever the funds come from, it remains an expensive endeavor, but like nothing we have seen before as the faith message shows up in movie theaters across the country, promoted where other movies are promoted, trailers played before blockbusters, posters on display in the hallways, and more. It really is a remarkable movement.

Now to the question we want to try and answer. It would be really cool if all these movies were available for free as ministry tools, everyone would love that. But somehow, we have to keep re-investing, making the money back that was spent so that this movement can continue. The cost to license a movie, generally depending on the size of the audience, ranges from $99 to $299, and in some recent scenarios, just a love offering of any size. Licensing a movie to show in your Church helps the movie recover the costs spent so they can make more movies. 

Did you know that you can help yourself recover the license fee by taking an offering, suggested donation at the door, or even selling drinks and popcorn? Movies are great ministry tools for your Church and community. Use them as often as you can, we all love to be entertained and when that entertainment points us to Jesus – that is even better!

Scott Mills – Chief Engagement Officer and Owner – Engage Media Partners

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