LifeWay Research Shows People Want More Movies With Christian Values

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

Hollywood’s “year of the Bible movie” continues to drive sales at the box office in 2014, according to a study by LifeWay Research.

Four faith-based films have already earned more than $50 million each in ticket sales, according to Boxofficemojo.com. Those films — “Noah,” “Heaven is for Real,” “Son of God,” and “God’s Not Dead” — are among the top 20 grossing films of 2014.

And movie audiences may want more, a survey of 1,054 Americans from Nashville-based LifeWay Research revealed. Researchers found that half of Americans (56 percent) say they wish there were more movies with Christian values.

“Faith-based movies are no longer a niche,” Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, said. “It’s smart economics — if you make a film that appeals to that audience, they will show up.”

Movies with an explicitly Christian message — like “God’s Not Dead” — have done especially well. The independent film was made for $2 million and has earned more than $59 million at the box office. That’s more than high-budget projects like “Muppets Most Wanted” or the critically acclaimed “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Kris Fuhr, founder of Moviegal Marketing, said Christian movie fans want films with a clear presentation of faith. That’s been true in the past for films like “Fireproof” and “Courageous,” as well as more recent movies like “Son of God.”

“When you have a movie where the title is almost a doctrinal statement — the audience will come out,” she said. “People want their faith to be affirmed.” Films with a more subtle faith message may not do as well, Fuhr said.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Bob Smietana

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