Leveraging Hollywood: If We Come, They Will Build It

A 9 to 5 Editorial 

Every Christian should shell out the cash this Christmas season to go see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, Disney’s remake of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Every last one of us.

Why? Simple. Last year, legions of us turned out to see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, so this year, consumer-focused Hollywood made Narnia. If we get the same kind of turnout for this movie, guess what? Hollywood will make another Christian-friendly blockbuster next year. And the next.

That’s the way the market works. It’s basic economics. Sure, Hollywood’s dominated by die-hard secularists, but the gatekeepers who decide which movies get made are capitalists first. As such, they base their production decisions largely on perceived market demand.

That’s critically important for Christians to remember, since movie makers are major players in today’s culture wars. In fact, they’re frontline generals. Their movies advance particular “worldviews”—assumptions about right and wrong—assumptions that ultimately embed themselves into the minds of millions and shape the culture, for better of for worse.

In recent decades, it’s been largely for the worse. Theaters are now places that routinely sacrifice Judeo-Christian values on the altars of relativism, humanism, pragmatism, and even hedonism. And many of their attacks have been blatant and brutal, accelerating both cultural decay and the marginalization of believers.

That’s abhorrent, but our umbrage at Hollywood’s assault on traditional values shouldn’t blind us Christians to an historic opportunity. You see, in 2005, the generals have sent a clear message to us across enemy lines: they’re willing to switch sides, for the right price. At the very least, it seems, some of them are willing to fight on both sides of the culture war, provided we Christians respond by supporting them—by showing up at the box office for movies like Narnia.

Attending this movie is Jujitsu 101, friends. In that martial art, an opponent’s strength is not met with strength, but is instead channeled to one’s advantage. In other words, an attack is not countered by pushing back, but by skillfully finding a way to use the opponent’s strength for one’s own ends. We needn’t fight against Hollywood’s strengths of money and influence when we can instead channel them for kingdom purposes.

Here’s some more jujitsu: A few years ago, a popular movie gave us the phrase “if you build it, they will come.” Now, Christians can turn around that phrase to continue the turn around in Hollywood: “If we come, they will build it.”

Go see the movie. In fact, go see it twice. And bring lots of people with you.