Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide, points to 2013 mega-hits like Man of Steel, Frozen and Gravity as examples that prove what his group has known for more than two decades–moviegoers want family-friendly movies with Christian core values.
And, Baehr says, the best is yet to come in 2014, citing projects like Son of God, Heaven is for Real and, yes, even Noah.
Baehr is heartened that year after year films the whole family can enjoy prove potent at the box office.
Consider 2013, a year in which Superman visited church for reflection, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson discussed turning the other cheek in 42 and Tony Stark explored heaven and hell via Iron Man 3, says Baehr. Even animated films like Turbo and Monsters University detailed how the capitalist system worked to the characters’ advantage, Baehr says.
“Mean-spirited films do so badly at the box office … studios have gravitated toward more and more big movies that reach a broad audience,” he says. And when a studio wants to reach a larger audience, it’s hard to ignore that the vast majority of Americans believe in God, he says.
Hollywood is increasingly enamored with the potential of foreign markets, particularly China. Baehr says the numbers Movieguide tracks show foreign movie goers reflect the desires of their U.S. based peers.
Chinese film markets often reject salacious materials, as do some Muslim-based theaters.
Much has already been written regarding the behind-the-scenes negotiating to bring Noah to the big screen, including the notion that it’s more environmentally aware than spiritually driven. Baehr says while the former does exist early in the film, everything he’s read and seen about the project says the film ends with a message people of faith will cheer.