What a difference a week—and a box-office success—makes. When last I wrote about Christian marketing efforts for Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming NOAH, the studio was still not saying anything about the religious “message”, or lack thereof, of the movie. They had stopped sending out trailers to Christian groups through Grace Hill Media, and seemed to be standing tough against the swirling storm of controversy. But things are changing.
First came the “Open Letter to Hollywood” from “Faith-Driven Consumer,” warning that 46 million ticket-buyers could be dissuaded from seeing the film, and pressure from the National Religious Broadcasters group. Then came the $26.5 million opening weekend of the Jesus movie Son of God, an adaptation of the History Channel series that the “Open Letter” praises. Now, Paramount seems ready to try again. Grace Hill Media is back on the case, releasing a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes on the movie, including, later in the month, an interview with Aronofsky, who has stated that NOAH should not be viewed as a religious film.
Paramount has also announced an unusual step. They are adding a disclaimer to trailers and other promotional materials aimed at religious audiences: