Fireproof debuted on DVD on Tuesday, January 27, and by week’s end sales in Christian bookstores alone had broken the previous DVD sales record from 2004 set by Jonah, A VeggieTales Movie.
With this achievement, Sherwood Pictures—the production arm of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA—holds three of the top five spots on the Christian DVD chart: Facing the Giants is no. 2; Flywheel is no. 5.
Fireproof opened in 839 theaters at no. 4 in the nation and was the number one independent film in theatrical release in 2008 as well as one of the top highest-grossing Christian films—along with Narnia and Amazing Grace—since The Passion of Christ.
“These record-setting sales at Christian retail stores, after a highly successful theatrical run, confirms that there is a large audience hungry for content that encourages in these difficult times and feeds the need for products that reflect their faith and lifestyle,” Terry A. Hemmings, president and CEO of Provident Music Group, says. “We’re thankful for our partnership with Sherwood Pictures and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It took a tremendous effort from everyone involved to achieve these unprecedented numbers.”
Bob Rubin, executive vice president for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which distributed the DVD at mass-market retail, said, “We are thrilled with the response both at Christian retail and mass-market retailers. This strong sales performance is especially impressive in light of today’s economic climate and clearly indicates a broad market for faith-based entertainment. We are delighted that Fireproof resonates so well with its audience.”
Fireproof, marketed by Provident Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Affirm Films, is the story of a fireman, Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron), who can save strangers but not his own marriage. The Love Dare, a book/plot device in the movie, also a book by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, topped the New York Times Advice Paperback list for 14 weeks at nos. 1 or 2. After 18 weeks, it still ranks no. 5.
Now in time for Valentine’s Day and National Marriage Month, Christian bookstores across the nation are selling the exclusive Christian retail version of the Fireproof DVD—The Special Collector’s Edition— which contains all the bonus material sold outside the Christian market plus 32 minutes of CBA-only material: a movie-production video blog, bringing behind-the-scenes to life; “Fun with Mr. Rudolph” (film fans know Caleb Holt’s next door neighbor); additional firehouse commentary from Wayne (Caleb’s fellow fire fighter), and the Casting Crowns video of the movie’s hit song, Slow Fade.
Churches, therapists, Sunday school groups, and organizations already are purchasing site licenses for group showings of the movie famous for myriad reports of marriages strengthened and couples reunited after taking in the movie’s message.
Fireproof is the third movie from Sherwood Pictures, headed by Sherwood Church Senior Pastor Michael Catt, Executive Pastor Jim McBride, and Ministers Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick. Sherwood’s first film, Flywheel, in 2004, has sold 200,000-plus DVDs. Its second, Facing the Giants, in 2006, earned $10.1 million at the box office and has sold more than 1.6 million DVDs in 58 countries (14 languages).
Written by brothers Alex (director) and Stephen Kendrick (producer), and with a 1,200-member cast and crew, Fireproof stars an all-volunteer cast of almost all first-time actors.
Fireproof is dubbed in Spanish and has subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, and Arabic. The movie’s total running time is 1 hour and 58 minutes.