Sunday July 19, 2020
Would-Be Religious Conservative Mogul Denies that Religious Conservative Movies Already Exist
Recently on Fox News and its website, we apparently needed to know the following information:
And it's about time! Stupid liberal Hollywood. There's just no place for religious conservative filmmakers to tell their stories.
Except, of course, for Pure Flix Entertainment, which has produced and/or distrubted 88 such movies this century, including “God's Not Dead” (2014, $61m), “God's Not Dead 2” (2016, $21m), “Unplanned” (2019, $19m), “The Case for Christ” (2017, $15m), “Hillary's America” (2016, $13m), and “God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” (2018, $5.7 m).
Then there's Affirm Films, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures. It distributed three religious films in the past three years: “All Saints,” “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” and “Overcomer.” The last is about a high-school coach who trains a troubled teen in long-distance running. It grossed $34 million in August 2019.
Other studios have also gotten in on the religious conservative action. This year, Lionsgate distributed “I Still Believe,” about Christian music star Jeremy Camp, which had the bad luck to open as the Covid pandemic was starting but still managed to gross $9 million opening weekend. Last year, IFC Films distributed “Mary Magdalene” ($124k) and 20th Century Fox distributed “Breakthrough,” which was that “my son broke through the ice, please pray for him” movie that featured, among others, Topher Grace, Dennis Haysbert and Josh Lucas. It took in a cool $40 million.
There's also just the plain religious stories, sans “conservative,” that Hollywood has told in recent years: “Noah,” “Silence,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “The Nativity Story.” Hell, Tyler Perry's entire hugely successful career is based on telling Christian tales in modern settings. (Caveat: it's black people.)
And if none of that works for you, well, you can still check out mainstream Hollywood fare, in which, often, 1) two attractive white heterosexuals meet and fall in love, or 2) some American dude saves the world—generally with his NRA-approve firearm.
A few follow-ups we didn't get from host Maria Bartiromo. Does Sabato, Jr.'s promise about making movies by “religious conservatives” includes other religions besides Christianity? And do the people at Pure Flix Entertainment view Sabato Jr. as a potential partner, a rival, or just some doofus trying to steal their glory?
As for the idiot idea that religious conservatives are “blacklisted” in Hollywood? Just refer him to Clint, Arnold, and any number of right-wing stars doing regular work in Hollywood. If you can make money for someone in Hollywood, they‘ll hire you. If you’re a professional with a known face and schtick who won't waste anyone's time on set, they‘ll hire you. And if you’re neither of these things, then you're just like every other schmuck clawing for a piece of it. Welcome to the party, pal.