How Angel Studios' Theatrical Pay it Forward Program is Changing the Industry
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How Angel Studios' Theatrical Pay it Forward Program is Changing the Industry

by Angel Studios | January 30, 2024

The Inspiration Behind Theatrical Pay it Forward

Long before Angel Studios introduced its groundbreaking theatrical Pay it Forward program—enabling people to buy movie tickets for those who otherwise wouldn’t go to the movies—CEO Neal Harmon and his eight siblings worked from sunup until sundown on their family's potato farm in Burley, Idaho.

Growing up, both Neal and his wife Trisha didn’t have the time nor the means to go to the movie theater very often. Even after they got married and started their own family, going to the movies felt like a luxury. 

So when Neal and his brothers launched Angel Studios, one of their top priorities was ensuring that everyone, regardless of financial means, could attend the movies and have a transformative experience—just like they did when they were kids.

Sending millions of people to the theaters to have a life-changing experience is integral to Angel Studios’ origin story. Angel Studios started to experiment with Pay it Forward for a streaming service, and waited for the right time and opportunity to bring the vision of Pay it Forward theater tickets to life.

Theatrical Pay it Forward Debut

Fast forward to March 2023 when Angel Studios was preparing for its first theatrical release, His Only Son. After a brainstorming strategy meeting, Angel’s marketing executives came up with a revolutionary idea to adapt their existing Pay it Forward program to work for theatrical releases, allowing people to Pay it Forward so others could go to the movies for free. Upon its launch with His Only Son, 27,000 Pay it Forward tickets were claimed. 

Since its inception, this initiative has gained momentum and continues to be integrated into all of Angel's theatrical releases, defying initial skepticism from industry experts and mainstream media outlets. This theatrical Pay it Forward initiative is largely responsible for launching Sound of Freedom to international success and enabling it to gross over $200 million at the box office. 

Theatrical Pay it Forward Stats

Since its March 2023 debut, Angel Studios theatrical Pay it Forward initiative has been disrupting the industry and sending millions of people around the world to theaters for free.

2023 Stats:

  • Over 2 million tickets were claimed in 2023 to watch an Angel Studios movie in theaters

  • Tickets were claimed by theater attendees across the globe, including in markets where the cost of a theater ticket for most people would be a huge barrier

What’s the difference between Theatrical Pay it Forward and Streaming Pay it Forward? 

Theatrical Pay it Forward: This initiative allows you to purchase movie tickets for someone else to claim and watch a film in the theaters for free. 

Streaming Pay it Forward: Angel Studios allows fans to Pay it Forward to their favorite show or film to keep streaming free for millions of people, help filmmakers create more content, and amplify the message of entertainment you are passionate about. 

Pay It Forward.
Your choice to Pay It Forward keeps Angel Studios free around the world.