When it comes to producing films, Hollywood tends to focus more on blockbusters and less on smaller religious films. Cloud Ten Pictures marked a drastic departure from the traditional blockbuster when it formed in the 1990s. The brainchild of two brothers, the studio hoped to bring attention to smaller films that focused more on classic films. Though the company saw some success over the years, it suffered from some issues with financing, which later led to its demise. With Cloud Ten Pictures no longer existing, now is a good time to look back on some of its top films.
Released in 1997, “Apocalypse” became one of the biggest films in the history of Cloud Ten Pictures. The two brothers behind the studio realized that a good way to get attention for a new religious film was through a church release. The studio worked with churches across the country and allowed those churches to screen copies of the film before it played in theaters or found its way into video and DVD rental stores. “Apocalypse” was so successful that it later spawned three sequels.
Much of the success of Cloud Ten Pictures was due to “Left Behind: The Movie.” Filmed in 1999 and 2000, Kirk Cameron, the star of the film, went on a publicity tour and visited colleges across the country to talk about the movie. Cloud Ten Pictures released the film on DVD in 2000 and gave customers a free ticket to see the movie in theaters the following year. A large tour that sent the film to churches in the United States helped make it one of the top grossing films in the history of the studio.
“The Miracle of the Cards”
Though “The Miracle of the Cards” never landed in theaters, it did have a church release and a DVD release. The film tells the story of a young boy with a brain tumor and the relationship he shared with his mother as she attempted to help him break a world record. The film originally aired on PAX television as part of a deal the studio worked out with that company. Once the film arrived on DVD, it became one of the biggest selling religious DVD releases of the year.
“Left Behind II: Tribulation Force”
Those who follow the Ed Young Jr YouTube channel and other similar channels might not know the story behind “Left Behind” and Cloud Ten Pictures. “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force” followed the events and stories told in the first film and became a successful DVD release. After the studio released a third film in the series, the writers of the book series filed a lawsuit and demanded the rights back. Eventually settled out of court, the studio gave the authors the right to make a film of their own. Though Cloud Ten later released other films, losing the rights to its top franchise spelled the end for the company.
Many of the top religious films of today owe their success to Cloud Ten Pictures. Between 1994 and 2009, the studio released dozens of films that appealed to church goers around the world. Though the studio no longer exists today, it left behind an enduring legacy of family friendly and religious films.