Angel Studios Is Buying the ‘Sound of Freedom’ Director a $5 Million House as Part of His Overall Deal

Matthew 25: 35-40 in the Bible says that giving to the unhoused is akin to giving to the lord directly: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” For Angel Studios, the distributor hopes its unique style of generosity toward its top filmmaker will be a benefit unto themselves as well.

Angel Studios has a 10-year overall film deal in place with Alejandro Monteverde, the director of last year’s “Sound of Freedom” and this year’s “Cabrini,” to direct and produce at least five more theatrical films. In the interim, Monteverde certainly won’t be homeless: As part of the deal, Angel has agreed to purchase Monteverde a house valued between $4-5 million in a location of his choosing. And that’s just part of the arrangement.

Paula Malcomson as Anna Fletcher in episode 2, season 3 of Mayor of Kingstown streaming on Paramount+ Photo Credit: Dennis P. Mong Jr./Paramount +

Monteverde is also getting a $950,000 upfront “finder’s fee” in the first year of the deal in addition to a $50,000 salary, and he will earn a $600,000 salary in the second and third years of his deal as an employee of Angel Studios. All of this at a time when most studios are axing their overall TV and film deals as a cost-cutting measure and as part of the fallout from last year’s labor strikes.

As charitable as the Angel Studios fanbase may be, Monteverde is no charity case. He will need to make “theatrical worthy” films, as deemed so by the Angel Guild, Angel’s 300,000-plus paid subscribers who vote on what movies to greenlight and can help in the crowdfunding of individual projects. If the group doesn’t think a Monteverde film is good enough for theatrical release, it won’t count toward the five he needs to deliver.

As for the house, Monteverde will earn 10 percent of the value of the dwelling for each year of service under the deal, and ownership of the house will be transferred to him on an annual basis. His salary for years 4-10 will also adjust based on the price of the house. In all, he’s getting $12 million in total compensation, with $6 million being paid out upfront and the rest monthly over the 10 years.

The agreement is all mapped out in an SEC filing from April 19 (as first spotted today by THR), with Monteverde and Angel agreeing to the deal in February. That filing also says Angel Studios closed out 2023 with $202 million in revenue, including $35.2 million in Pay-It-Forward revenue.

Pay-It-Forward was used to great success with “Sound of Freedom.” The model encourages moviegoers to buy a movie ticket and donate it to a complete stranger. Angel Studios recently revealed that of “Sound of Freedom’s” $250 million global box office haul, $26 million was Pay-It-Forward money.

Monteverde’s “Cabrini,” about the life of the first American saint, certainly didn’t reach the heights of “Sound of Freedom,” but it made a respectable $20.3 million globally. Angel already has an ambitious slate of films through 2025, but it wants even more theatrical hits.

Alejandro Gomez Monteverde
Alejandro MonteverdeVariety via Getty Images

Angel formally announced Monteverde’s deal on Tuesday afternoon, saying he’s currently casting an untitled project written by Rod Barr that will be the first under the new agreement.

“When I first met Alejandro and experienced his passion for filmmaking, I felt like we had just encountered the next Frank Capra. His approach to sharing stories is always unique, accessible, and powerful,” Jordan Harmon, president of Angel Studios, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to help bring his unique storytelling and stunning vision for filmmaking to the world.”

Angel has been in the news recently because it launched arbitration against the production company behind its theatrical Biblical series hit “The Chosen.” Angel and the show’s creator Dallas Jenkins have been in a legal battle over the rights to the show’s fourth season, and “The Chosen” ultimately terminated its agreement with Angel, meaning that Season 4 is now available for streaming through an app for “The Chosen.” First, however, a theatrical release of “The Chosen” Season 4 through Fathom Events brought in nearly $60 million at the box office. No wonder Angel wants it back.

Angel also just released its latest movie “Sight,” which has made just $5.8 million at the box office.

Reps for Angel did not reply to an additional request for comment on this piece.

SOURCE: Indie Wire

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