By Jeremy Reynalds
OXFORD, MISS (ANS) — The “Year of the Bible” has Christian moviegoers packing movie theaters across the country. Films like the “Son of God” and “God’s Not Dead” racked up a combined 218 million dollars in ticket sales in 2014.
However, a news release from Christian News Service said a survey of 1200 respondents from Christian News Service and conducted by American Insights found that 79 percent of those polled say “historical and biblical accuracy is important.”
Two-thirds (66 percent) of all adults and 74 percent of Christians (who made up 63 percent of all survey respondents) were likely to see a movie related to God.
Russ Jones, president/CEO of Christian News Service, said in the news release, “While some in Hollywood only see the Christian community as a financially lucrative target audience, many believers feel Hollywood doesn’t portray Christianity fairly.”
The Christian News Service/”Nicaea” Movie Poll also found that 66 percent were interested in seeing a historical movie about the rise of Christianity.
An element of the study gauged the interest of the viewing public for two upcoming movies.
One was “Exodus: God and Kings,” a Ridley Scott directed film with Christian Bale as Moses, and “Nicaea.” an independent film about Constantine The Great, St. Athanasius, The Council of Nicaea, and the theological question concerning the nature of Jesus of Nazareth.
Among those polled, 62 percent of the Christian community, and 57 percent of the general public, said they planned to see “Nicaea.”
Former Wall Street Hedge Fund manager Charles Parlato, and executive producer of “Nicaea,” slated to release in early 2016, noted in the news release the importance of producing historically accurate and biblically sound films.
“Taking liberties with the Bible for dramatic purposes like Dan Brown did in ‘The Da Vinci Code’ or the more recent film ‘Noah,’ is nothing new in Hollywood,” said Parlato. “Brown’s contentions are clearly false, and I am not willing to let his interpretation of history stand unchallenged.”
Jones said, “This poll was conducted for the purpose of guiding the film and television industry in its product ion of both historically-based films and movies that explore questions about God. The results clearly show that the public will not be toyed with in regard to accuracy in both biblical and historical accounts.”
In addition, 79 percent of Christians and 71 percent of all adults say, “The Biblical accuracy of the story is important” when deciding whether to see a faith-based movie. Fifty-two percent of Christians strongly agree with that statement.
Parlato said, “The results are clear. Hollywood must look at this poll and acknowledge that the audience it seeks to serve must in every way be respected, and that respect includes the deeply held beliefs of that audience.”
He added, “The true artist can ask probing questions, but the questions must be asked honestly and must reflect historical and Biblical accuracy. We should not be surprised by the poll results. They simply affirm common sense.”
Methodology: The survey polled 1200 adults nationwide between May 1 – 8, 2014. Fifty percent landline, 20 percent cell and 30 percent online. Margin of error ± 2.8 percent.