The L.A. Times published a fascinating article in yesterday’s edition about The Passion of the Christ. Written from a skeptical point-of-view, it provides some interesting food for thought. Below are some excerpts:
Just what kind of box office “The Passion” will do when it opens Feb. 25 is impossible to predict. But it is clear that Gibson has tapped into a network of Christian church-based marketing that has been maturing for decades and that has been waiting, with almost biblical patience, for a high-profile, celebrity-backed religious picture to capture the nation’s attention.
One problem for movie marketers is that the Christian marketplace is not a monolith. For “The Passion,” one group — evangelicals — fits easily into the role of promotional missionaries for the film. Not only does the movie line up closely with their theology, it also offers an opportunity to re-energize the faithful and evangelize to family and friends by simply inviting them to “a Mel Gibson movie.”
Church-based marketing has grown increasingly sophisticated, especially in the last decade, under the influence of evangelical Christians, who have used rock ‘n’ roll, videos, movies and the Internet to deliver Gospel messages. This formed two parallel entertainment worlds — secular and Christian — that rarely met. It also stirred among evangelicals the dream of crossover Christian entertainment. Often, however, Christian offerings have been of a lesser quality or creativity than leading entertainment-industry fare. This has been true particularly in movies.
You can read the full article here. Unfortunately you have to register before you can read it, but it is a quick and painless process.