From March 5 to April 1, ChristianCinema.com’s First Annual CHRISTIAN MOVIE MADNESS TOURNAMENT drew audiences online to vote for their favorite films in a tournament competition similar to basketball’s March Madness. The response was overwhelming as both filmmakers and fans responded to the competition. Pure Flix’s God’s Not Dead received the most votes, advancing across six rounds and sixty-four competitors to take home the championship. ChristianCinema.com is part of the FrontGate Web Network.
Christian Movie Madness included more than 100,000 votes cast by fans online. “We are thrilled by the number of fans who logged in, round after round, to push their films forward,” says Bobby Downes, President and co-founder of ChristianCinema.com. “The response was amazing, and proves that the Christian audience cares about what they are watching.”
Filmmakers, production companies, and distributors who took advantage of the Facebook memes provided by ChristianCinema.com saw clear, undeniable advancement by their fans. Several ‘underdog’ titles beat out box office hits, such as Hell & Mr. Fudge’s first-round upset over Heaven is For Real, Old Fashioned’s victory over the highly marketed Christian Mingle, and Alone Yet Not Alone’s defeat of Disney’s life story, As Dreamers Do.
For curious voters, the completed bracket can be downloaded at www.ChristianMovieMadness.com. Fans and filmmakers can see how God’s Not Dead advanced to the championship match, beating out other favorites such as Passion of the Christ, What If…, and the bracket finalist, Sandra Bullock’s The Blind Side. Several franchise-based favorites held on through three rounds of elimination, including Love Comes Softly, Chronicles of Narnia, and Kirk Cameron’s Monumental, proving audience loyalty to franchises and filmmakers they support.
For the first few rounds of voting, movies were divided into “conferences” based on theme: Faith and Theology, Bible Stories and Epics, Love and Romance, Comedy, Sports, Action/Adventure, Hot Social Topics, and True Stories. However, as the competition ramped up, it was anyone’s game. That game will change slightly in 2016.
“Next year’s tournament is already in the works,” says Jared Geesey, Senior Vice President of ChristianCinema.com. “Movies from 2015 through March 2016 will qualify. We hope that the promotion of newer films will bring them to an even broader audience than ever before.”
From the outset, ChristianCinema.com sought to connect viewers with filmmakers, create a buzz in the Christian film community about top titles, and promote awareness of lesser-known Christian films. “We feel we have accomplished exactly what we set out to do,” says Geesey, “and we are grateful for the audiences who support Christian films in their own unique ways every week.”