When you think Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), you tend to think of sick, twisted entertainment -- and I mean that in a good way. Multiplex hits like Saw and Hostel have certainly boosted the studio's fortunes.

That's why Lions Gate's latest move might seem odd at first glance. The Lion wants to grab its fair share of what's known as the faith-based market. The studio has purchased the rights to DVD documentaries based on nonfiction works by Lee Strobel; the initial Christian documentary, The Case for Christ, will be available later in the year. In addition, Lions Gate brokered a distribution partnership with Thomas Nelson, a publisher of Christian materials, allowing the studio a strategic outlet for its faith-based products.

The religious market is being looked at by content-based companies as a way to augment growth. Media biggies like Disney (NYSE:DIS) and News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) are two prime examples of the trend. Everyone remembers the Christian connection to Disney's blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia, which arguably helped drive some of that project's popularity. And who can forget the ecclesiastical excitement that patrons exuded over Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ?

Tapping this particular demographic should lead to good business opportunities for Lions Gate. It's essentially a more targeted strategy than the comparable protocol of attracting the general family audience. Developing a relationship with families who are also active in their churches should enhance the studio's mainstream-movie side.

Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz composed an interesting commentary on the growth potential of religious-based entertainment a while ago. You can bet that content creators such as Viacom (NYSE:VIA) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), as well as the ones already mentioned, will look to increase their exposure to this genre as a way of synthesizing a diverse library of product. Getting back to Lions Gate, I think this deal will help balance things out in terms of the section of its library devoted to blood, guts, and pain. Horror fans -- of which I am one -- are not to be ignored, and they spend a lot of discretionary funds on the darker franchises out there, but courting the faithful should also prove a worthy endeavor.

Enter the Lions den:

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. As of this writing, he was ranked 14,759 out of 26,968 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.