COMMENTARY | Breitbart’s Big Hollywood has a story about two upcoming movies based on stories from the Bible, one a big budget, star laden special effects extravaganza called “Noah” and one a smaller film “Son of God” about the life of Jesus Christ.
“Noah,” which stars Russell Crowe as the creator of the Ark, has turned off its core audience, believing Christians, because of its revisionist approach and themes of environmentalism and overpopulation. The depiction of Noah as a drunk appears to be off putting as well.
“Son of God,” based on footage from the surprise hit miniseries “The Bible,” is being embraced by people of faith, mainly due to its adherence to the story of Jesus as told in the Gospels. Churches and religious groups are buying out theaters to give the smaller movie a big opening weekend.
The Washington Examiner is reporting that roughly 98 percent of believing Christians have a negative view of “Noah,” based on advance screenings and word of mouth. This reaction can be poison for production that cost more than $125 million to make.
The irony is that “Son of God,” made with a far more modest budget and not having any big name stars, may be the more profitable movie. There is a lesson that Hollywood should have already learned. That lesson is not to insult ones audience.
There was a time when Hollywood could churn out religious themed movies like “Ben Hur” and “Quo Vadis” that were not only highly successful, but which became classics. In recent decades, the movie industry has become far more liberal and very secular. With the exception of “The Passion of the Christ,” the Mel Gibson movie that was accused falsely of being anti Semitic, there has been few mainstream movies that the religious could embrace.
Thus people of faith have increasingly become an underserved audience, forced to content themselves with smaller, more independent films that validate their beliefs. Perhaps if “Son of God” outperforms Noah, the powers that be in tinseltown will take notice and realize that they are eschewing a potentially very lucrative market.