Christian Film Beats the Odds, Tops Box Office Charts Using Unique Social Impact Strategy

"Tortured for Christ," an independent faith-based film, relays the true story of Romanian Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and the 14 years he spent in a Communist prison enduring torture and persecution for his Christian faith. The film was produced by Wurmbrand’s nonprofit organization, The Voice of the Martyrs, to honor the 50th anniversary of the pastor’s international best-selling book that recounted his persecution, also titled "Tortured for Christ."

In the week of March 5, 2018, "Tortured for Christ" earned its spot as the most successful independent film in the nation for a one-day theatrical event. With 477 screening events held in theaters and churches nationwide and 62,644 single tickets pre-sold for a Monday night premiere, "Tortured for Christ" generated $783,300 in revenue and surpassed all competing major film studios. The film’s unsuspecting box office success was made possible by OnBuzz’s unique Social Impact Strategy.

OnBuzz, an Austin-based social impact film company, utilized Data-Driven Marketing to yield high ticket sales by tapping into resources provided by The Voice of the Martyrs. OnBuzz accessed target audiences currently involved in the "Tortured for Christ" brand, contact the organization’s supporters and individuals personally influenced by Wurmbrand.

Tracking the received data allowed OnBuzz to organize theater and church screenings in zip codes with the highest volume of VOM supporters. Ticket sales occurred in advance, and screenings were not greenlit until the desired threshold was met thus reducing costs and eliminating the risk of low audience capacity. This method successfully encouraged ticket holders to share screening events through social media platforms, increasing potential audience networks, which resulted in an influx of ticket sales.

Emphasizing the social impact potential of "Tortured for Christ" appeals to Christians and Christian communities seeking deeper discussion while raising awareness around religious persecution. In addition to receiving a copy of Wurmbrand’s book with each ticket order, a portion of ticket proceeds are used to help persecuted Christians around the world. According to a 2017 report released by the Pew Research Center, Christians fall victim to government restrictions and social hostilities in 64.65% of countries around the globe.

The effectiveness of the Social Impact Strategy outlasts the film’s premiere; 640 "Tortured for Christ" screenings have taken place across the country to date with more events scheduled daily. OnBuzz continuously seeks more faith and family content to market using their innovative strategy. They see these films as more than just movies but as movements.

OnBuzz is an end-to-end film financing, production, distribution, and marketing firm focused on sustainable filmmaking.

If you would like more information, please contact OnBuzz at or +1 (512) 968-3809. 

Source: OnBuzz