Religious Surge in Movies?

Hollywood’s discovery of what movies are profitable is prompting a religious surge in entertainment.

A religious surge of “faith-based movies” is catching the attention of entertainment media. That is because their profitability has caught the attention of Hollywood. In my opinion this has happened because the technology has made movies more competitive. People’s DVD rentals and online viewing eventually caught the attention of people wanting to make money with theatre audiences. Before, Hollywood producers didn’t have as much tangible evidence and incentive to realize that their own leftist worldview wasn’t as widespread among viewers as they wanted to believe.

AFP reports, “Movie theaters cash in as Hollywood turns to God.

Religion is reclaiming cinema for sacred purposes at a rate never seen in history, with faith-based movies exploding from an obscure cottage industry last century into a multi-billion-dollar business.

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“You can add faith-based movies to the list of genres that you can count on as box office, as much as you can count on any genre. But these movies have to come from an authentic place,” comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told AFP.

“You can’t just suddenly have executives in board rooms saying, ‘Faith-based movies are big right now so let’s do one.’ You have to come from an authentic place. Those in the faith-based community will know if it’s not the real deal.”

For most of the US film industry’s short history it has turned out a few religious films a year, but the end of the 1990s saw a sudden boom, and by 2006 theaters were showing four or five new releases a month.

The relatively recent upsurge is down to smaller distributors who have “really cracked the code” on what religious audiences want, says Dergarabedian, often eschewing the epic Biblical dramas for modern, contemporary stories.

A staple of the weekly menu of releases now, faith-based filmmaking accounts for two of the weekend’s top ten movies at the domestic box office.

“I Can Only Imagine,” starring Dennis Quaid, amassed $17.1 million in its opening weekend — by far the biggest debut for a film from Roadside Attractions — and has earned an impressive $38.1 million from its first two weeks in theaters.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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