Sony Pictures and TDJ Enterprises, a faith-based multimedia company, have entered into a three-year production and distribution deal for theatrical releases and DVD exclusives.
The first film scheduled for production in late 2006 is “Not Easily Broken,” based on a novel by Bishop T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises.
Sony Screen Gems prexy Clint Culpepper is spearheading the project for Sony. Films released theatrically through the deal will be distributed through Screen Gems, a genre division of Sony that makes modestly budgeted films to be marketed to a target aud.
Last year Screen Gems had success with its film “The Gospel,” about an R&B performer who discovers a renewed relationship with his father and with God. Made for $3 million, “Gospel” grossed $17 million at the box office.
Culpepper said the pics made with TDJ will target an African-American niche more than a religious niche. “We want to make entertainment with a good message,” he said. “That’s something that the bishop and I agree on.”
TDJ Enterprises recently released “Woman, Thou Art Loosed,” which has made more than $7 million at the box office and sold more than 1 million units on DVD. The company also produces and markets television programs, books, DVDs, theater and music projects that “inspire and empower people.”