I Can Only Imagine, the faith-based film starring Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, Trace Adkins and Broadway’s J. Michael Finley (Les Miserables), was acquired by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions for release on March 16. Directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, the film is based on the true story behind “I Can Only Imagine,” the popular Christian song by Bart Millard based on his life.
The date is similar to the one the distrib chose this year to launch The Shack, the faith-based film based on the best-selling book. The Shack, from Lionsgate/Summit, grossed a big $96.39M worldwide after its March 3 release.
Today’s deal was announced by Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Jason Constantine and Roadside Attractions Co-Presidents and Co-Founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff. Kris Fuhr of Working Title Agency and Ben Howard of Provident Films will work on the theatrical campaign in conjunction with Roadside Attractions.
“We are delighted to be working with the talented Erwin brothers, who have an incredible vision for both the film and the music,” said Constantine. “Coming on the heels of our faith-based box office hit, The Shack, I Can Only Imagine will touch audiences everywhere. We are very excited to bring this wonderful story to the big screen.”
I Can Only Imagine also co-stars Priscilla Shirer (War Room), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Poppers Penguins) and Broadway’s J. Michael Finley (Les Miserables).
This marks the fourth feature for the Erwin brothers, whose previous films include October Baby, Mom’s Night Out and Woodlawn. I Can Only Imagine was produced by Kevin Downes, Cindy Bond and Daryl Lefever. Travis Mann, Scott Brickell and Simon Swart serve as executive producers. Downes and Lefever previously produced The Erwins’ Mom’s Night Out and Woodlawn. Bond is producing through Mission Pictures International.
Woodlawn opened to $4M in its debut weekend and went onto gross $14M after being distributed domestically only by PureFlix.
Quaid is repped by WME, Leachman is repped by Innovative Artists, Adkins is repped by CAA, and Finley is repped by Abrams Artists Agency. Carroll is repped by Curtis Talent Management., and Shirer is repped by Going Beyond Ministries. Fair Trade Records’ roster includes top-selling Christian music act MercyMe.
Today’s deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Constantine, Eda Kowan, EVP Acquisitions and Co-Productions and Lauren Freeman, Director of Acquisitions. Cohen negotiated the deal on behalf of Roadside Attractions. Downes negotiated the deal for the producers along with Thomas Vidal of Pryor Cashman LLP.