Wednesday, December 31, 2014

“Unbroken” defies critics’ usual rejection of faith-based movies.

Jack O'Connell as "Louie" Zamperini
Hollywood doesn’t like faith-based movies, punishing them with low ratings. Christianity’s values aren’t Hollywood’s, and Christians in Hollywood’s eyes are anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-Jewish, anti-feminist bigots.

So the box office success of "Unbroken,” made from the runaway best-selling book of the same name, emerges as somewhat of a surprise, even though the Angelina Jolie-directed film itself doesn’t mention Christ.

From “HITFIX”:
Based on the epic true story of Louis Zamperini, [“Unbroken”] pulled in $15.5 million on Christmas. . . a tremendous start.  "Unbroken" features no recognizable actors and had largely mixed to negative reviews.  It earned just a 59 on Metacritic and a "rotten" 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences didn't seem to care as they gave it an A- Cinemascore.  It also appears faith based audiences took to the picture.  After his experiences in WWII, Zamperini became an inspirational speaker after attending a Billy Graham crusade. This part of his life isn't discussed in "Unbroken," but there are numerous references to God granting him strength on his journey which may [have] helped Universal's faith-based marketing efforts. If the film continues to perform close to this level through the holidays it could make back its reported $65 million budget by New Year's Day. That sort of success could make a shaky Oscar nomination for best picture a much more realistic endeavor. [emphasis added]
“Unbroken’s” gross reached $46 million by December 28, so it does seem likely to make back its $65 million budget soon. 
Voight and Fonda with Oscars

Another problem with “Unbroken” from Hollywood’s perspective: it’s patriotic, a positive story about an American military hero, a throwback to a much earlier era, long before the anti-war “Coming Home” (1978), starring Jane Fonda and Angelina Jolie’s dad, Jon Voight.

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