Hollywood wonders "What would Jesus direct?"

Discussion in 'Misc. Films' started by Darth Elektra, May 5, 2006.

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    Long criticized by conservative Christians for profiting from violent or sexually graphic films that corrupt the young, Hollywood is starting to see there is money to be made catering to those critics.

    "On Sunday, 43 percent of America was in church," Jonathan Bock, head of a movie marketing company that specializes in religious audiences, said at a panel discussion on "What Would Jesus Direct?" at the Tribeca Film Festival this week.

    "For studios to not recognize that's an audience is like them saying, 'We're not marketing movies to men,"' Bock said.

    He and others on the panel, including a 20th Century Fox executive, said the turning point was Mel Gibson's 2004 movie "The Passion of the Christ," which surprised many in Hollywood by grossing more than $370 million in the United States.

    "Until two months before it was released, it was pretty much known as the least commercial property in Hollywood," said Michael Flaherty, whose production company was behind "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Because of Winn-Dixie," both with strong spiritual or moral messages.

    "There's a lot of people in the faith community who are looking for these films that are uplifting," Flaherty said.

    While "The Passion" is credited with knocking down the door for religious-themed films in Hollywood, Bock said the growing interest was clearly linked to politics. He noted President George W. Bush, a born-again Christian, was elected twice with solid backing from conservative Christians.

    'GODSPLOITATION'

    Ralph Winter, a producer at 20th Century Fox Films, said Fox's home video department was leading the way in pushing for films for religious audiences.

    "They're very interested in opening up that market so we have been making $2 million or $3 million movies based on (Christian) books," he said.

    Winter said studios are looking for projects based on good stories likely to make entertaining movies, without being obvious efforts to proselytize and convert people.

    "No one wants to be preached to in a movie theater," Winter said. "Movies that raise issues are more interesting than movies that try to give answers," Winter said.

    Bock predicted religious movies would see a growth pattern similar to that of movies made by and about African-Americans.

    "There were these 'blaxploitation' films made for very small budgets, then (it went) through maybe you can make a buddy comedy, and (then you) get to the point where stories of African-Americans could be out there," Bock said.

    "There have been movies made that were low budget, lets call them 'Godsploitation films.' If they make money, they'll try more," he said, noting that New Line Cinema was working on a film called "Nativity" about the birth of Jesus with "a pretty significant budget."

    Bock said that even the upcoming "The Da Vinci Code," condemned by many Christians for undermining their religion by saying Jesus was married and had children, was a movie that would probably be seen by a lot of Christians who realize it is better to see it and argue back than to boycott it.

    "What they've come to believe is if the whole world wants to talk about Jesus, then let's be ready to have that conversation," he said.
     
  2. Mentok Registered

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    Silly christians... Now I know when to steal your expensive HDTVs :up:
     
  3. Wilhelm-Scream Registered

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    They'll just forgive you for taking 'em.
     
  4. Obi-Ron Deal with it

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    God's gonna be pissed.
     
  5. Darren Daring Registered

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    Let's get a wave started. A wave for Jesus:up:

    ^___________
    _^__________
    __^_________
    ___^________
    ____^_______
    _____^______
    ______^_____
    _______^____
    ________^___
    _________^__
    __________^_
    ___________^

    that turned out stupid:(
     
  6. Wilhelm-Scream Registered

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    it's a static wave
     
  7. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    Well, I for one am glad that Hollywood is taking notice. I will be glad to see some more good uplifting moral films being made. Looking forward to it.
     
  8. terry78 My name is Stefan, sweet thang

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    You just don't want to be "Left Below!"
     
  9. Lt. Figgnuts Back...from the graaaave!

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    Speaking of that, have you guys ever seen those Left Behind movies?

    Terrible. Just terrible.

    But REALLY amusing to watch.

    Especially Kirk "This is me picking up the shattered remains of my career" Cameron.

    Go rent 'em.
     
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    Yea, The Left Behind movie's suck.
     
  11. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    Unfortunately, the Left Behind movies do suck. The books are good, but the movies are horrible!
     
  12. Timstuff Registered

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    You want REAL suckage? Go watch "A theif in the Night". It makes Left Behind seem Oscar-worthy. :D
     
  13. Lt. Figgnuts Back...from the graaaave!

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    The books were...alright.

    The PLOT was fantastic. But I felt the actual writing was a little poor. Particularly the dialogue - at times it left something to be desired. Maybe that's just me though.

    The movies were laughably bad, though. I'm sort of morbidly curious about the third one ("World at War") if I wasn't so sure it would suck and if I didn't have to spend actual money on it.
     
  14. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    I have to agree with you. While I really love the Left Behind books, the dialogue is a bit hokey, but it's not distracting by any means.

    I was a bit curious about the new one, but I don't see a huge leap in quality after 2 Left Behind films. Too bad, I wish they were better.
     
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    Ive never read any of the left behind books.

    I think if they make more Christian movies, they should make a Christmas story... That would be cool.

    Its sad because When Christians boycott films like The Da Vinci Code.
     
  16. Darren Daring Registered

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    Because there arent' enough Christmas movie as it is:confused:
     
  17. huskerwebhead Registered

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    I think Wal-Mart is behind this.
     
  18. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    I know Ralph Winter wants to make a film based off one of the chapters of A Purpose Driven life, that could be interesting.
     
  19. Movies205 Corporate Money

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    I think Chronicles of Narnia got it right when they made Jesus into a lion that eats people, that was frickin hardcore :up: I do believe that Jesus as a rampant elephant misunderstood by his Jungle Brethen and it's not till a famous child star meets up with him that he discovers his true calling, is what needs to be made next
     
  20. Timstuff Registered

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    Also, the pharmacutical industry and big oil.
     
  21. Movies205 Corporate Money

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    Which means George W. Bush is plotting something evil...
     
  22. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    Does every thread on the Hype have to end up leading to something about GWB?
     
  23. Immortalfire In the pale moonlight

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    They are a boil on America's neck, so it's possible.
     
  24. Movies205 Corporate Money

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    That was the joke I was putting out... Would it have been better had I posted...

    "Which means it has something to do with George Bush because George Bush is behind EVERYTHING LOL LOL LOL THIS IS ME BEING SARCASTIC!! YES RIGHT HERE!! IT MEANS THAT EVERYONE ON THE HYPE BLAMES BUSH FOR EVERYTHING!!! GET IT!!! GET THE JOKE!"

    Would that have made it better?
     
  25. Downhere Jeremiah 33:3

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    Don't get so defensive, it was something I had to post because it seems that everywhere I go on the hype that name is present...especially in threads that have nothing to do with him.
     

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