Angel Studios, Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryEntertainment
PredecessorVidAngel
FoundedMarch 25, 2021 (2021-03-25)
Founders
  • Neal Harmon
  • Jeff Harmon
  • Jordan Harmon
  • Daniel Harmon
  • Benton Crane
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Neal Harmon (CEO)
ProductsVideo on demand
Services
Number of employees
100-250
Websiteangel.com

Angel Studios, Inc. is an American independent media company and film distribution studio based in Provo, Utah.[1] It operates the over-the-top video on-demand service Angel Studios.[2] The streaming service is available worldwide and can be accessed via web browsers or via application software installed on smartphones, tablet computers, and smart TVs.[3]

The studio uses equity crowdfunding to finance its original productions by offering individual investors the opportunity to purchase shares in the company and its titles.[4] Content produced by Angel Studios is distributed for free on their own streaming service.[2] Some titles are also available in other third-party streaming services as distribution deals.[5]

Notable titles that Angel Studios has produced through crowdfunding include The Chosen,[6] Dry Bar Comedy, The Wingfeather Saga, and Tuttle Twins.[7] The Chosen raised $10.3 million for its production[8] and was the largest crowdfunded entertainment project for the studio[9] until March 2023 when it was surpassed by David which has raised $49.7 million in crowdfunded investments through Angel Studios.[10]

Angel Studios emerged as the result of a bankruptcy reorganization from VidAngel after a four-year lawsuit by major entertainment studios.[11] A year after bankruptcy, in May 2022, Angel Studios reports that it has $123 million in revenue and that 50,000 people have invested over $100 million for production of new original content on its platform.[7] Angel's first major box office blockbuster success came as a result of its July 3, 2023, release of Sound of Freedom which on a $14.5 million budget has grossed to date over $250 million.[12][13]

History

Early years as VidAngel

See also: VidAngel

Angel Studios was originally founded as VidAngel in 2014 by Neal Harmon, Jeffrey Harmon, Daniel Harmon, Jordan Harmon, and Benton Crane. According to Neal Harmon, the brothers wanted to be able to show any movie to their children without worrying about explicit material.[14] VidAngel provided a filtering service that allowed viewers to skip or mute scenes they did not want to watch from streamed movies and TV shows, by allowing viewers to set customized filters on graphic violence, nudity, and profanity.[15]

In 2016, VidAngel was sued by several major Hollywood studios for copyright violations, accusing the service of streaming unlicensed content that was not created by VidAngel.[16] VidAngel fought the lawsuit for several years, asserting its method was legal under the Family Movie Act of 2005, and then eventually reached a settlement in 2020.[17]

As a result of the lawsuit, the Harmon brothers decided to sell the filtering service business and instead focus on producing original content through equity crowdfunding.[18] The previous VidAngel service was sold to VidAngel Entertainment, and the company was rebranded as Angel Studios in 2021.[19]

Equity crowdfunding

In December 2016, VidAngel was undergoing a lawsuit. To raise money for operations and lawsuit costs, the company conducted a Regulation A+ securities offering with a goal of $5 million in investment. It met its goal after 28 hours and had crowdfunded over $10 million after five days.[20]

In 2017, the company conducted another Regulation A+ securities offering to crowdfund Season 1 of The Chosen.[21] Neal Harmon and Jeff Harmon worked together with Dallas Jenkins and Derral Eves to produce and stream a multi-season television series about the life of Jesus and his disciples. After a pilot episode was developed, the company raised $13 million in equity crowdfunding to finance the first season, the largest amount ever crowdfunded for a TV show.[22]

Also in 2017, a third foray into equity crowdfunding came from the launch of Dry Bar Comedy, a series of 52 original stand-up comedy sets filmed in Utah that are generally clean and performed by lesser-known comedians. Much of its content went viral, with Dry Bar Comedy videos receiving over two billion views as of 2021.[23]

Launch of Angel Studios

The success of Dry Bar Comedy and The Chosen gave way to a new business model that would allow the company to produce and distribute original content. The founders decided to focus on developing original content using its equity crowdfunding model and rebrand as Angel Studios.[24]

Angel Studios was named after the "angel investors" that participate in the new model that uses equity crowdfunding to finance original productions. These productions are distributed via the Angel Studios streaming platform for free. The company relies on a pay what you want revenue model, coined "Pay It Forward", in which viewers can optionally pay for the content if they choose to support it.[25]

In early 2021, Angel Studios purchased the domain angel.com for $2 million.[26] Soon after, Angel Studios launched an investment portal called Angel Funding that offered investment opportunities through Regulation Crowdfunding securities offerings.[27]

Several productions were successfully funded through the investment portal after its launch in March 2021. Tuttle Twins, a show for children with educational themes on economic freedom raised $4.6 million in equity crowdfunding for its production.[28] The Wingfeather Saga, an animated series based on the award-winning book collection of the same name raised $1 million in the first 48 hours and $5 million in 20 days[29]

In April 2021, The Chosen, which was originally distributed through the VidAngel platform, was made available on Angel Studios for the launch of Season 2. The show became a viral hit with renowned success worldwide.[30]

In 2022, Angel Studios raised $47 million in an investment round led by a Gigafund, a venture capital company.[31]

As of 2022, Angel Studios had 50,000 individual investors and had over $100 million worth of original content, including 12 titles, in production.[32]

Production library

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Films

Live-action

Title Release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Production partner(s) Budget Box office
Testament: The Parables Retold October 6, 2022 (2022-10-06) Paul Syrstad TBA
His Only Son March 31, 2023 (2023-03-31) David Helling David Helling, Roman Medjanov, & Mike Kaney II RockBridge Productions $250,000[33] $13.8 million[34][35]
Sound of Freedom July 4, 2023 (2023-07-04) Alejandro Monteverde Rod Barr & Alejandro Monteverde Eduardo Verástegui Santa Fe Films $14.5 million[36] $250.6 million[37][38]
After Death October 27, 2023 (2023-10-27) Stephen Gray & Chris Radtke Jason Pamer & Jens Jacob Sypher Studios
Theora Films
$11.5 million[39][40]
The Shift December 1, 2023 (2023-12-01) Brock Heasley Brock Heasley & Ken Carpenter Nook Lane Entertainment
Pinnacle Peak Pictures
Salt Shaker Media
$6.4 million[41] $12.1 million[42]
Upcoming
Cabrini March 8, 2024 (2024-03-08) Alejandro Monteverde Alejandro Monteverde & Rod Barr Leo Severino & Jonathan Sanger Francesca Film Production NY
Lupin Film
Lodigiano Film Development Inc.
TBA TBA
Bonhoeffer November 2024 (2024-11) Todd Komarnicki Fontana
In Plain Sight Group
Crow's Nest Productions
Guy Walks Into A Bar Productions
TBA TBA
The Telegram TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Jacob TBA David Helling TBA TBA TBA TBA

Animation

Title Release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Production partner(s)
Upcoming
David 2025 (2025) Phil Cunningham & Brent Dawes TBA Phil Cunningham & Jacqui Cunningham Sunrise Animation Studios

Television

Live-action

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally airedShowrunnerDirector(s)Status
First airedLast airedNetwork
The Chosen19December 24, 2017 (2017-12-24)November 26, 2019 (2019-11-26)TBADallas JenkinsDallas JenkinsReleased
29April 4, 2021 (2021-04-04)December 1, 2021 (2021-12-01)
38December 11, 2022 (2022-12-11)February 7, 2023 (2023-02-07)
48February 2024 (2024-02)TBAPost-production
Dry Bar Comedy1TBA2017 (2017)TBATBATBATBAReleased
Playing For Eternity111February 3, 2023 (2023-02-03)TBATBATBATBAReleased
Lightwise116March 21, 2023 (2023-03-21)TBATBATBATBAReleased
Testament1TBATBATBATBATBAPaul SyrstadIn production
Dry Bar Unscripted1TBATBATBATBATBATBAIn production
The German King1TBATBATBATBATBATBAIn production

Animation

SeriesSeasonEpisodesOriginally airedShowrunnerDirector(s)Status
First airedLast airedNetwork
Tuttle Twins112June 30, 2021 (2021-06-30)TBATBATBATBAReleased
212TBATBAStreaming
The Wingfeather Saga16December 2, 2022 (2022-12-02)March 10, 2023 (2023-03-10)TBATBATBAReleased
2TBATBATBAIn production
Young David15November 10, 2023 (2023-11-10)TBATBAPhil CunninghamBrent Dawes and Phil CunninghamStreaming
Gabriel and the Guardians1TBATBATBATBATBAJason Andrew MoodyIn production

Content

TV series

The Chosen

The Chosen, a streaming multi-season television series about the life of Jesus, was first produced under the VidAngel umbrella and now distributed by Angel Studios.[43] The series was supported by equity crowdfunding and raised over $13 million, the largest amount ever crowdfunded for a TV show.[43]

Dry Bar Comedy

Dry Bar Comedy was one of the preceding company's first forays into original content, launched in 2017. It began as a series of 52 original stand-up comedy sets filmed in Utah that are generally clean and performed by lesser-known comedians.[44] Dry Bar Comedy has attracted a large social media following, particularly on YouTube. As of 2021, Dry Bar Comedy videos have attracted over 2 billion views.[23]

Tuttle Twins

Loosely based on books of the same title by Connor Boyack and Elijah Stanfield, Tuttle Twins follows twins Ethan and Emily Tuttle who go on adventures with their grandma on her time-traveling wheelchair. It held the all-time crowdfunding record for a kids show until it was surpassed by The Wingfeather Saga.

The Wingfeather Saga

Angel Studios produced an animated TV adaptation of The Wingfeather Saga, a fantasy book series for children and young adults written by Andrew Peterson. Investors poured in $5 million to produce the first season, which is currently streaming.[29]

Feature films

As of July 2023, Angel's distributed feature films include His Only Son, a March 2023 live-action drama retelling the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac produced by RockBridge Productions[45][46] and Sound of Freedom released in July 2023, produced by Santa Fe Films.

Forthcoming films include David, an animated film about the eponymous biblical hero, and The Shift, a sci-fi film[47] set to be released in late 2023 starring Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Kristoffer Polaha, and Emily Rose, which will be Angel Studios's first original theatrical feature film.[48]

Sound of Freedom

On July 3, 2023, Angel Studios released the film Sound of Freedom to 2,626 theatres, increasing to 3,285 theatres on July 14.[49][12][13] Directed by Alejandro Monteverde and based on true events, the film stars Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, and Bill Camp. Originally a 20th Century Fox release before Disney acquired the label, Disney refused to release the film, until Angel Studios acquired the rights for $5 million. Before the film opened, Sound of Freedom earned over $10 million in pre-ticket sales through Angel's crowd-funding and pay-it-forward model. It reached #1 on July 4, 2023, beating Disney's release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny that day and earned $40 million in its first six days.[50] To date, Sound of Freedom has earned over $250 million worldwide and is the 9th highest-grossing American film of 2023.[12][13] An expansion to international cinemas for the $14.5 million budgeted film was announced on Angel Studios' X page starting with South Africa on August 18. This represents Angel Studios' first worldwide release in multiple international markets for the company.[51][52][53]

References

  1. ^ "'The Chosen' Distributor Angel Studios Launches Theatrical Division". Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Angel Studios: Free, Wholesome Movies & Shows". Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  3. ^ "Supported Devices - Angel Studios: Free, Wholesome Movies & Shows". Angel Studios. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  4. ^ "Angel Funding - Invest in stories that amplify light". Angel Funding. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  5. ^ Form 1-K Annual Report 2022 Angel Studios, Inc. SEC.report
  6. ^ Graham, Ruth (November 25, 2022). "Jesus Christ, Streaming Star". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  7. ^ a b TechBuzz. "Angel Studios Announces New 2022 Lineup, Representing over $100 Million in Original Content". www.techbuzz.news. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  8. ^ Parke, Caleb (January 7, 2019). "Story about life of Jesus emerges as largest crowdfunded entertainment project in history". Fox News. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  9. ^ "A television show about Jesus Christ has become an unlikely hit". The Economist. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  10. ^ "New biblical film David surpasses record set by The Chosen". Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  11. ^ Michael Balderston (March 23, 2021). "VidAngel Rebrands as Angel Studios for Crowdfunding Content". TVTechnology. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c "Sound of Freedom (2023)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "Sound of Freedom (2023)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on July 10, 2023. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  14. ^ "VidAngel CEO Talks Filtering Content For Faith-Based Streaming And Creating "The Chosen"". Religion Unplugged. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  15. ^ "Nothing Will Stop VidAngel from Exorcising Hollywood's Demons". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  16. ^ "Hollywood studios win ruling over VidAngel family-friendly filters". Reuters. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
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  18. ^ "The brothers who sold faith and 'Sound of Freedom'". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  19. ^ Harmon, Neal. "Angel Studios Form 1-K". US Securities and Exchange Commission. SEC. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
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  23. ^ a b Knight, Robert (August 28, 2021). "Dry Bar Comedy delivers inoffensive humor in a compromised culture". The Washington Times. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
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  28. ^ "Libertarian Cartoons Promise to Turn Your Kids Into Little Ayn Rands". Bloomberg.com. July 27, 2022. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  29. ^ a b Fowler, Megan. "Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga Raises $5M for TV Series". News & Reporting. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  30. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "Angel Studios Will Try To Replicate 'The Chosen's Box Office Miracle". Forbes. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  31. ^ "Angel Studios, Streaming Platform Behind 'The Chosen', Raises $47 Million Investment Led by Gigafund to Give Hollywood a Remake". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  32. ^ TechBuzz. "Angel Studios Raises $47 Million in Venture Financing". www.techbuzz.news. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  33. ^ "Angel Studios' latest film 'His Only Son' recounts the story of Abraham and Isaac". KSL. March 29, 2023. Archived from the original on July 20, 2023. Retrieved April 1, 2023.
  34. ^ "His Only Son (2023)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  35. ^ "His Only Son (2023)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  36. ^ Jurgensen, John (July 2, 2023). "A Child-Trafficking Thriller Is Taking on Hollywood. Who's Behind It?". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 8, 2023. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
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  39. ^ "After Death — Financial Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved November 26, 2023.
  40. ^ "After Death (2023)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 26, 2023.
  41. ^ Whitten, Sarah (November 30, 2023). "Sound of Freedom studio looks to build on crowdfunding success with new film The Shift". CNBC. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  42. ^ "The Shift (2023)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  43. ^ a b Bond, Paul (January 5, 2019). "Largest-Ever Crowdfunding Campaign for a TV Show Issues Equity to Investors". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  44. ^ Herald, Court Mann Daily. "VidAngel switches its focus to 'Dry Bar Comedy' in wake of lawsuit". Daily Herald.
  45. ^ "Invest in 'David' on Angel Funding".
  46. ^ "His Only Son | Angel Studios".
  47. ^ "The Shift Makes Cast Announcement and Begins-Filming". February 23, 2023. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  48. ^ Grobar, Matt (February 3, 2023). "Neal McDonough, Sean Astin Join 'The Shift'; Brainstorm Media Acquires 'Acidman' With Dianna Agron, Thomas Haden Church; Hope Runs High Takes BAFTA-Nominated Doc 'Rebellion' — Film Briefs". Deadline. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  49. ^ Deadline. "Jim Caviezel Anti-Child-Trafficking Thriller 'Sound Of Freedom' Notches $10M Presales Before July 4th Opening – Box Office Update". www.deadline.com. Retrieved July 3, 2023.
  50. ^ Washington Examiner. "Sound of Freedom exceeds expectations with $40 million box-office opening". www.washingtonexaminer.com. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  51. ^ X. "You ask, we answer. "Sound of Freedom" is on its way around the world". www.X.com. Retrieved July 26, 2023.
  52. ^ The Numbers. "The Numbers, Where Data and the Movie Business Meet". www.the-numbers.com. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  53. ^ "'Sound of Freedom' Fans Shrug Off Arrest of Donor for Child Kidnapping". Rolling Stone.