Religion and Ethics Weekly: God and Hollywood

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[KIM] LAWTON: In Los Angeles, Jonathan Bock runs a company called Grace Hill Media, which he says tries to bridge the gap between Hollywood and the religious community. Formerly with Warner Brothers, Bock now promotes big-budget films to churches and Christian leaders.

Mr. BOCK: We have a database of about 75,000 pastors that we regularly invite to screenings. We don't want to be in a position of just telling them this is good for you, so there you go. We want them to find out for themselves.

LAWTON: Last year, in a promotional gimmick, Bock's company convinced the evangelical flagship magazine Christianity Today to run a mock-cover featuring the film "Evan Almighty." He says the studios' willingness to commit such big ad money shows Hollywood's growing respect for the religious audience.

Mr. BOCK: They knew this audience was out there. They really thought, you know, that this film would resonate with Christian families.

LAWTON: But "Evan Almighty" wasn't a box office hit. Neither were two other movies targeted to Christians, "The Nativity Story" released in 2006 and "Amazing Grace" in early 2007, although all did better in video sales and rentals.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMovies & TelevisionReligion & Culture

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Posted February 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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