Angel Studios Is Buying the ‘Sound of Freedom’ Director a $5 Million House as Part of His Overall Deal (2024)

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.

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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.

Angel Studios Is Buying the ‘Sound of Freedom’ Director a $5 Million House as Part of His Overall Deal (3)

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 is in the midst of arbitration with 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 for some time 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.

Angel Studios Is Buying the ‘Sound of Freedom’ Director a $5 Million House as Part of His Overall Deal (2024)


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

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.

Did Angel Studio buy Sound of Freedom? ›

THE $5 MILLION RAISED FOR the distribution of Sound of Freedom went directly to Angel Studios — not the filmmakers. The cash was collected through VAS Portal, with more than 6,600 small investors putting up an average of $748.73 each.

Is Angel Studios non-profit? ›

Angel Studios is a for-profit company who takes their share of film revenue to reinvest into the company so they can continue fulfilling their mission to create stories that amplify light. Pay It Forward.

Who are the Harmon brothers of Angel Studios? ›

Angel Studios was originally founded as VidAngel in 2014 by Neal Harmon, Jeffrey Harmon, Daniel Harmon, Jordan Harmon, and Benton Crane. According to Neal Harmon, the brothers wanted to be able to show any movie to their children without worrying about explicit material.

Is Angel Studios a Mormon company? ›

Angel Studios is a Mormon-founded company, started by Mormon brothers Neal Harmon, Jeffrey Harmon, and Daniel Harmon, alongside their cousin Benton Crane.

What happened with the Sound of Freedom? ›

"Sound of Freedom" faced additional scrutiny due to its perceived support from far-wing groups, including QAnon. Despite public praise from right-wing figures, including former President Donald Trump, the movie itself denies any explicit references to QAnon or conspiracy theories.

Are the Harmon Brothers Mormon? ›

The Harmon brothers are legends in Utah's Mormon country for marketing church-friendly products to the masses.

Why did Disney sue Angel Studios? ›

The company's distribution of sanitized versions of Hollywood titles drew a lawsuit from Disney, Warner Bros. and other studios. During the case, Harmon raised $10 million from individual investors, using half for legal fees and the other half, when the studios prevailed in court, to launch Angel Studios.

Are angel investors wealthy? ›

Angel investors are affluent individuals who provide capital for startup companies, typically in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt. Their typical background often includes successful entrepreneurs or retired business executives, and they possess a wealth of experience and a high net worth.

What religion is behind The Chosen? ›

Since as early as 2021, the show's director and creator, Dallas Jenkins, has refuted the claims in interviews and livestreams, stating that The Chosen has no Mormon influence in its writing, scripts, or theology and insists the show is "Conservative Evangelical".

Who owns Angel Studios now? ›

Angel Studios was, until 2021, known as VidAngel. Founded in 2014, the company was owned by a well-known Mormon family—Neal Harmon, Jeffrey Harmon, Daniel Harmon, Jordan Harmon, and Benton Crane. Neal Harmon is the current CEO.

Why is The Chosen no longer with Angel Studios? ›

After that, Jenkins contends that Angel Studios “breached our contract on multiple occasions. To the extent that we believed it should be terminated.” According to Jenkins, the arbitrator sided with The Chosen LLC — which means, according to him, “'The Chosen's' relationship with Angel Studios is effectively over.

Who owns the rights to the Sound of Freedom? ›

Angel Studios has acquired worldwide distribution rights for “Sound of Freedom” and will release the film theatrically in 2023. “Sound of Freedom” is based on the true story of Tim Ballard, a former US government agent that quits his job to rescue children from global sex traffickers.

What studio is behind the Sound of Freedom? ›

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angel Studios wants to give audiences the power to decide what movies are made. The company behind last summer's surprise box office hit, the child trafficking movie “ Sound of Freedom,” employs a crowdfunding model to finance projects from the ground up.

Will Angel Studios stream The Sound of Freedom? ›

Sound of Freedom (2023) | Official Website | Now Streaming on Angel Studios.

Who is the producer of Sound of Freedom? ›

It is produced by Eduardo Verástegui, who also plays a role in the film. The plot centers around Ballard's Operation Underground Railroad, an anti-sex trafficking organization.

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