“The Blind,” which released in theaters in September, was scheduled to be a one-week event. But high demand for the film, a biopic about “Duck Dynasty” patriarchs Phil and Kay Robertson, pushed the company to extend the run for several weeks afterward, earning $17 million and breaking records as the highest-grossing theatrical release in Fathom Events history.

Willie and Korie Robertson./ Image courtesy of Great American Pure Flix.

“People kept showing up, the seats kept being filled and we ended up being in theaters almost a month, so that was very exciting,” said Korie Robertson, daughter-in-law and wife to Willie Robertson, who served as a producer on the film.

Directed by Andrew Hyatt, “The Blind” stars Aron von Andrian as Phil and Amelia Eve as Kay and is now streaming exclusively on the Great American Pure Flix channel. The story follows the journey of author and entrepreneur Phil, who came from very humble beginnings to become an All-American college football player. He romances and marries his sweetheart Kay, but their marriage is threatened when Phil gives into temptation. But a decision to leave his sinful life behind changes everything, not just for Phil but for his immediate family and those who came after.

“When I ran up on Jesus all those years ago, I didn’t know a movie about my worst moments would help reach thousands in theirs,” Phil said.

“The Blind” was the first release under the new production company, Tread Lively. Robertson said this film’s success will lead to more films that are currently in development. Like “Duck Dynasty,” the television series that spawned a cultural movement and other Tread Lively projects such as podcasts and unscripted series, the future theatrical releases will “point people to Jesus.”

“It won’t all be explicit faith content necessarily, but it will appeal to people who love God,” she said. “We want everything we do to point people to him.”

The family business, Duck Commander, is still the priority, Robertson says, although it encompasses a lot of different missions and ministries. Several of Willie and Korie’s kids have come back to work at the company headquarters, doing everything from running the store and museum to developing new flavors of coffee for distribution. Even Sadie Robertson Huff, who has become a sought-after youth speaker, runs her ministry out of the warehouse.

“It’s been fun for our kids to grow up, go off to college, move away, and then come back and do something within the family business and us all work together,” she said.

While “The Blind” centers on the love story between Phil and Kay, Korie’s own love story with Willie started at a youth camp when they were in fourth grade. She noticed the young man across the room and “thought he was so cute.”

“He had these really cute dimples that you can see on our kids now,” she said.

Duck Commander was still getting off the ground and the Robertsons had not come into the success they would later see. Phil was doing commercial fishing, as depicted in the film, to make ends meet. When it came time to meet potential wives for his sons, however, Phil was intentional, Korie said.

“I’ll never forget going down to their house,” she said. “I met Phil for the first time and my friend and I walked up. He looked up and said, ‘Have you met my boys Willie and Jase?’ We were like, ‘Yes, sir.’ He went ahead and pitched his sons to us. He said, ‘They’re gonna’ be good husbands someday. They’re good hunters and good fishermen.’ So that was an interesting first meeting.”

Although Korie grew up in a family of hunters and had even already tasted squirrel meat before taking part in Kay’s famous dinners —(she draws the line at eating the brains)—she said her strongest connection with her future husband and in-laws was that of having a strong Christian faith; “Our family and our parents loved Jesus.” Korie and Willie married at 18 and 19, “Just babies,” she said, and have lived a life together that is “fun and never boring. I will say that.”

With many years of life together, Korie and Willie have more adventures to come, and thanks to the success of “The Blind,” audiences can expect to see more faith-based media releases from Tread Lively.

“We’re going to just keep saying yes to what God has for us,” she said.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad