I don't know when Christian companies are going to realize that their movies suck. Separating themselves from Hollywood might be a nice idea, but, um, that's where the movies are made, guys. That's where the talent is. If you're trying to get a message out, the best way is the way that any other filmmaker tries to send a message, through a well-constructed film. I don't know why Christian filmmakers can't wrap their mind around that, or why they completely lack subtlety, why every Christian film I've glimpsed beats you over the head with the "moral" rather than letting the themes speak for themselves. Of course, much poorly conceived literature and film does this, but Christian filmmakers are the worst. They tell you 50000 times what their movie is about, literally, committing the ultimate film-sin. Also, Christian movies aren't cool. Nobody is going to watch them, except for Christians. Lame Christians.
They chose to make these movies for two reasons: conversion tools and moral alternatives to mainstream films. As for the latter, this is the problem with all things mainstream Christian. By offering what they think of as a healthy "counter" they continue to perpetuate this WEIRD counter-culture that attempts to dress up and commercialize Christianity-- selling it, basically, by wrapping it up in a bow that's supposed to inform us that it's just as cool as that other mainstream thing, only Christian. This is achieved on some level, and only subtracts from the overall quality of "art" in the mainstream. If you counter Transformers with Transfigurations or something, in the end, it's just more clutter. I feel the same way about most praise music. It's only a little bit lamer than the mainstream because it's trying so hard to be like the mainstream. Why dress it up? Why market Christianity? We're not meant to market faith, for God's sake! (....haha) Also, so far as the former, using such things as a conversion tool..... if that works, I guess that's cool, and I believe God can use anything, but still. Movies like Fireproof or Left Behind are pretty shallow introductions to a very expansive, powerful concept.
From my perspective, if you want to say something about Christ, morality, or redemption, you must explore those themes through powerful and proper storytelling, just like the best of Hollywood. If that means going indie, then go indie, like so many other storytellers. Mel Gibson, crazy man that he is and it's not like I approve of his life choices etc, did it, and did a fantastic job. He made a movie on his own about Christ, literally, with fine production value and explored the pain of Christ's final hours as a human man, making more of a point about the suffering of man (and Christ's subjecting himself to that, much like Last Temptation of Christ which everyone hates on but which I like quite a bit). Of course, I agree that his choice of subject isn't subtle, but you have to admit that it's no TV-Jesus movie. Otherwise, there are so many solid films with beautiful, uplifting themes that I think reach people in much more powerful ways than those obvious movies ever could. The redemption in Magnolia and Crash and The Royal Tenenbaums, the search for something higher in Blade Runner (and pretty much any sci-fi film)? The spirituality in Signs, The Sixth Sense, The Exorcist? The sanctity of life, explored with logic and without condemnation in Juno (written by an ex-stripper, btw), Knocked Up, and Waitress? The identification of evil in countless (good) films (like No Country for Old Men, which is NOT fatalistic, btw)? The exploration of relationships (what is real? also, a strong relationship between man and wife is meant to mirror God's relationship to the church)? Even films that Christians brand as encouraging the homosexual lifestyle, like Brokeback & A Single Man I think should be viewed to help us view oneanother as real people with real pain. The fact is, unless a certain person is primed to run to Christ, it's not going to happen because they saw a Christian movie, but if we prompt someone to think about morality, mortality, redemption, and most of all, hope, I think that opens the viewer's mind to important questions.
On a side note, I would definitely enjoy the promotion of a healthier, less scary and stereotypical Christian in non-Christian film. In Hollywood film, apparently everyone is agnostic or a scary born-again. I get that "Christians" have persecuted people, but ah, they're persecuted too. I suppose that's one nice thing about television, in shows like House MD etc-- we can discover the religious leanings of characters without them having to verbalize such things the moment we meet them, giving room for more fully rounded character development.
But that's just me.