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The Power of Opening Weekend

Last night I spoke to my friend Mark Zoradi – President of the Disney Motion Picture Group who confirmed that Disney is committed to “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” – the next in the series of “Narnia” movies. It will be directed by Michael Apted (who directed Amazing Grace last year) and will be released in 2010. Prince Caspian has a bit of a “soft” opening domestically – although by now it’s reached over $100 million. Overseas
it opened much better and seems to be doing very well. How does that bode for the future of “faith based” filmmaking?

When it comes to that subject, Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media reminded me that’s in the hands of the consumer. People of faith forget the power we have when it comes to influencing Hollywood. It’s a simple matter of voting at the box office. When will we learn that complaining, criticizing, or boycotting doesn’t do anything compared to buying (or not buying) a movie ticket? Hollywood is a business, and business responds to sales.

If Christians would simply go out in mass and support a movie they like, it would send a very clear signal to Hollywood studios to make more of that type of product. And don’t forget that most of those decisions are made on opening weekend, so the box office results on that weekend are the most critical.

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  1. I agree,  but I think it's tough timing for Caspian – opening so close to Indiana Jones. I know in my own family we have had several "either/or" conversations.

    We havent seen either yet. With record gasoline prices and recent interest rate hikes (in Australia) its a shame that the only two movies I want to see this year are opening at the same time.

  2. It could be much longer. Give us more!! It skimmed the surface just too much. I'd like to see more indepth stuff going on. And Aslan ~ a more prophetic ASLAN.  Walden shouldn't worry about making him the everyman's lion. For as long as the books have existed, He's always been Jesus ~ Wild and amazing! … but this time, He's much too tame. If they would make His words resonate more deeply, I think they would see an immediate response from movie-goers and Christians. (There were some great moments between him and Lucy – just give us more of them!)

    Also, there was a point where Edmund shouts, "FOR NARNIA!" during the battle. But, it really didn't catch my breath. And nobody in the theatre cheered. The film hadn't really built enough on the "Why" of Narnia. They have to get us to believe that Narnia is vital to the existance of everything, everywhere. It's like in Lord of the Rings ~ Peter Jackson did an amazing job in getting us to understand the WHY of middle-earth, so we felt it ~ we could cheer when there was a victory, and hold our breath when they were in danger. And tear-up when they did.

    To Walden: Make us believe in the REASON for Narnia to exist.  (i.e. pose the question: what if it were all taken away?) Don't go so fast. Let the Dawn Treader take it's own sweet time to develop.

  3. Maybe Christians should use some reverse psychology and when a Christian movie comes out, they should complain, criticize, protest, and call for a boycott (but actually go) and watch all the non-Christians go to the movie in protest of the protest.

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