The box office was stunned by the opening week of the Christian movie, “God’s Not Dead.” The local theater we frequent was packed during the matinee showing at 2:35 and already had a long line of enthusiastic movie goers awaiting the next showing. The per showing average was $3,613, and though it was only in 780 theaters, it made $2.8 million, according to early estimates.
I read comments and reviews via the YouTube “God’s Not Dead,” trailer from people both raving about the movie and critics who didn’t like the message of the movie. Many who watched it were touched in some way or another. Some did not like the premise of the movie, claiming that things like that simply do not happen; it was simply not plausible. Either they are not aware of what is happening in the world or they blatantly ignore facts.
Last year a university student was suspended for refusing to stomp on a sheet of paper with the name of Jesus. And more recently, an eight year old in a North Carolina school was allegedly told to change her choice of heroes as she had chosen Jesus. The school denies the claim, while the mother, Heather Watts, has brought attention to the incident through local news media. It is an ongoing situation. I’ve read many articles on many such incidents. It’s no longer the exception, but the rule. There is a growing attack on Christianity. It has been refreshing to see many faith based films doing so well in the box office.
The term, “god,” has been used, but then when Jesus, the God of the Bible, is inserted, then it becomes too exclusive.
According to Fox News, Hollywood is now, “Down with ‘the big Guy.” According to Neil Cavuto, “Let it be known, this is what happens if you do not watch FBN. Noah may not mention God, but with the picture starring Russell Crowe, hitting the big screen, movies about what God does are pretty big. Biblical films are fast becoming blockbusters. Just look at, “Son of God.’”
In an interview with Mr. Cavuto, Mike Huckabee appeared quite pleased at the faith based movies making it big in the box office. But he noted that the movie, “Noah,” is struggling because it is not authentic, or based on the “Holy Scriptures.”
In the segment, “Holy Hollywood movie makers creating Biblical Blockbusters,” Mr. Huckabee noted, “If you’re going to do a Biblical epic, do it. If not, make it a fiction and say it’s inspired by Bible stories, but don’t use the characters. Say it was inspired by the Bible.” He said that in reference to a question posed as to why the movie, “Noah,” is not doing well.
While Mr. Cavuto and Mr. Huckabee agreed that Hollywood is moving in the right direction. Mr. Huckabee also stated that Hollywood is always surprised by the success of faith based movies because, “Hollywood doesn’t know their audience… There is a disconnect with Hollywood and culture.” There is an appetite for wholesome and decent movies as also indicated by the success of “The Blind Side,” and other such movies, and most lately, “Son of God,” “God’s Not Dead.” He added, “There’s money to be made with God.”
While we like all the verses that teach us about God’s goodness and love, the rewards of following him, loving others, we don’t like to think about anything that could have potentially negative consequences for following Jesus.
While God is love, Jesus also made a statement that his disciples (past, present, and future), would be hated for his name’s sake as he spoke to his followers about the end times. (Matthew 10:22 KJV)
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.” Luke 12:52-54 (KJV)
While faith based movies are making a comeback, it is not without opposition. However, people are speaking up at the box office and Hollywood is listening and taking note. A recent study shows that faith based and patriotic films are dominating at the box office.