Faith hasn’t played much of a role in Hollywood — until now.
As many as 15 religious films could be released in theaters over the next year, and every one of them has a chance to make a big splash on the big screen. From Grace Unplugged to God’s Not Dead, Christian moviemakers are determined to make their mark in an industry that’s never been eager to highlight their values.
But based on a new report from our friends at MovieGuide, Hollywood may finally be getting the message of what audiences want — positive, family-friendly films with inspirational content. For the first time, nine of the top 10 grossing movies in 2013 at both domestic and international box offices had a family-oriented theme, and a large portion, Dr. Ted Baehr explains, had references to Jesus Christ. “There is a great incentive to make movies that are good, true, and beautiful. There is an audience out there, and studio heads — even ones that aren’t Christian — have intentions to reach this audience,” he said on the heels of his organization’s new 80-page report on the industry’s earnings.
Although studios insist on pumping out R-rated movies, they consistently under-perform at the box office. “Only four R-rated films made the cut, coming in between 15th and 19th in earnings.” Movies that had no foul language, like Frozen earned the most (an average of $65.81 million), while films with more than 25 incidences of profanity, like Wolf of Wall Street, averaged just $30.43 million and did not make the top 25.
Of course, the greatest irony may be the one Americans witness at the Oscars on March 2. If you compare how viewers vote at the ticket window with how the Academy of Motion Pictures does, it’s clear that what Hollywood prizes — profanity, nudity, violence, and sex — is not the same as what moviegoers do. If you’re tired of the junk Hollywood cranks out, prove it by supporting the alternatives. Fill the seats, and you might help fill the void — for values!